Kids Count Report: Recommendations include extending foster services until age 21
Many child advocates in the state of Rhode Island are now pushing to extend foster care services to the age of 21.
"All of our youth all kids in care have a right to permanency," said Trista Piccola the DCYF Director.
Upping the age of foster care is one of the recommendations to come out of this years Kid Count report.
25 states and DC currently offer extension programs. Rhode Island used to until 2007, when the age was lowered to 18.
"Youth who age out of foster care at 18 face a variety of poor outcomes. Some of those outcomes include; negative outcomes relative to employment, educational attainment, access to healthcare, safe and stable housing and also criminal justice involvement,” said Kara Foley the policy analyst for RI Kids Count.
There was an Extension of Care Act introduced IN the General Assembly last session that did not pass.
This year, advocates will push for it again.
As far as extending care goes the Governor telling ABC 6 News she thinks it's a good idea.
"We need to find the money to do it. The budget is a challenge, but every kid deserves a chance,” said Governor Gina Raimondo. “I'm a mom, I want every kid to have chances like my kids. So, I think it is a good idea and I look forward to working with them to figure out the details."
A spokesman for the Speaker says the cost is what prevented the legislation from passing in the House last year.
Last year the legislation did pass in the Senate and had the Senate President's approval.