Foster care system looking to expand ‘aging-out’ limit to 27-years-old

West Virginia News

HURRICANE, WV (WOWK) – Whenever someone ages out of the foster care system it can take some time for them to adjust to life outside the system. In 2020, the pandemic brought with it obstacles that affected this transition.

Last year, the “Supporting Foster Youth and Families Through the Pandemic Act” was put into place to allow more time for those in the system to properly adjust to adult life. However, on September 30th, this will expire.

In an effort to help these individuals who are still in need of guidance after turning 18, the Annie E. Casey Foundation is working with foster care representatives to push for policy reform to continue helping those from the age of 18 to 27 during this transition period.

Local foster care representatives note that the pandemic is far from over and is still affecting these young people.

If anything it’s getting worse and so we certainly still don’t want to see kids aging out without the supports they need. Youth at age eighteen are not ready to be on their own. They’re legally adults, but they still need a lot of guidance and a lot of support as we all did when we were at that age.

MARISSA SANDERS, WV FOSTER ADOPTIVE AND KINSHIP PARENTS NETWORK EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The foundation is hoping to gain the attention of Congress and encourage representatives to make this change permanent.

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