Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Critical bridge between age 18 and youth adulthood

New Laws Will Help California's Foster Children
KCBS, Oct. 13, 2007.

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) -- One of the Bay Area's leading experts on foster care says new legislation is moving the state in the right direction when it comes to adequate care.

This week Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation that would make it mandatory for disabled children to receive supplemental security income the moment they leave state care. In addition, the governor has placed $35 million dollars in the state budget to provide transitional housing units for foster youth.

”That’s going to be a critical bridge to get many of these youth from age 18 through young adulthood, without having to worry about where they’re going to sleep at night,” said Jill Duerr Berrick, co-director of the UC Berkeley Center for Child and Youth Policy.

However, Duerr Berrick says the system is still woefully under-funded.

”Children and families receive only a few minutes of justice in the courtroom, when in fact their lives are really hanging in the balance. So there’s tremendous work to be done to improve support available on the court side,” said Duerr Berrick.

A blue ribbon panel of state experts is preparing to release some suggestions on how to better manage the system.


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