Wait! Florida Foster Youth to Get Dropped in the Grease
Statistics show that nearly half of Florida’s foster youth fail their grade-level FCAT by the time they turn 17. But, despite this, a bill that would take two years off the time young adults may receive a state stipend in the state’s foster care system is making its way before a House panel Tuesday.
The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee will consider the measure (PCB HCAS 12-03), which would reduce funding for participants in the Road to Independence program by dropping their eligibility from age 23 to 21.
The bill’s supporters say the state cannot afford to support young adults who are old enough to support themselves.
Opponents include the members of Florida Youth SHINE, an advocacy group for young people in foster care or aging out of it.
According to the group – which gathered 60 letters in opposition to the bill – they are much more at risk for homelessness and criminal activity than youth with families. Without the stipend, said FYS chair Jesse Wilson, “these kids are going to end up in other systems of government – homeless shelters or the criminal justice system.”