Making 18-21 Year Olds “Children” Again for Your Tax Dollars

In Family Rights, Foster CAre Abuse on April 2, 2009 at 10:52 pm

California Assemblyman Jim Beall, (24th District ) along with California Assembly Speaker Karen Bass will introduce a bill to fund foster care for “children” between the ages of 18-21. Taking advantage of your federal tax dollars, the California Assembly will extend foster care dollars to take care of “adults.”

Assemblyman Beall, who is Chair of the Assembly Human Services Committee, introduced Assembly Bill 12, legislation that will allow California to receive newly-available federal funds to provide enhanced support for foster youth ages 18 to 21. Assembly Speaker Karen Bass is principal co-author of AB 12.

There are approximately 74,000 children in California’s Foster Care System. Fifty percent of the children who enter foster care are younger than age 5. According to foster care advocates, far too many children are trapped in the system and remain in foster care until they “age out” at 18.

With no place to go, one in four of the youths who age out is incarcerated within two years of leaving foster care, one in five becomes homeless at some time after age 18, only 46% complete high school, a mere 3 % earn a college degree, and just 51% of aged out foster care youths have a job at age 21.” stated on Assemblyman Beall’s website.

For the state of California, this is a disgrace. In report after report, the vast majority of children do better with their own parents, but because of federal programs such as this, state CPS works and foster care child-kidnappers take children because of the financial incentives to the state, and not “in the best interest of the child,” as this recent grab for “adult” money shows.

The California Foster Care system has come under more harsh criticism lately from reports of criminal abuses within the Santa Clara County foster care system. Just recently, a 10-year old boy spent five days in jail.

“In hindsight, all involved believe that this was a mistake,” Presiding Juvenile Court Judge Patrick Tondreau said in an e-mail. “Having someone this young brought to the Hall is an extremely rare situation, and this case had confusing and complex facts.” in an article in the San Jose Mercury News.


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