Contact: Tony Bell, Communications Deputy
Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich
Office: (213) 974-5555 Cell: (213) 215-5176
March 17, 2009 For Immediate Release
ANTONOVICH CALLS FOR AGE EXTENSION OF FOSTER CARE BENEFITS FOR EMANCIPATED YOUTH
LOS ANGELES COUNTY – On October 7, 2008, President George W. Bush signed into law, H.R. 6893 which addresses the needs of thousands of children in foster and kinship care. The law promotes permanent families through relative guardianship and adoptions as well as giving States the option of using federal Title IV-E funds to provide foster care, legal guardianship and adoption assistance to youth up to 21 years of age.
To ensure that California will comply with the federal statute, and that emancipated foster youth continue to receive vital services and financial support, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich to support Assembly Bill 12, the “California Fostering Connections to Success Act.” This bill will improve outcomes for young people through age extension in California, where state research shows 1 in 4 former foster youth faces incarceration within two years of leaving the system and 1 in 5 becomes homeless within 18 months.
“Cutting off kids at age eighteen is government-sanctioned child abuse. We wouldn’t do it to our own children – we should not do it our foster children,” said Antonovich. “Cost concerns of doing nothing will be outweighed by future costs of incarceration, homelessness, long-term dependence on public assistance, and even death.”