Program will aid foster children

Published 10:12 am Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Traditionally, it’s said that once a teen turns 18, he or she is an adult.

For many children who grow up in a stable home, it’s easy to test to waters of adulthood by moving out of their parents’ homes, getting a higher education or employment and paying bills, all while having a support system to fall back on if push comes to shove.

For children who grow up in foster care, turning 18 means “aging out” of the system, whether they are ready and prepared to be adults or not.

Email newsletter signup

That is until recently.

Gov. John Kasich this week signed a bill into law that creates a new program to serve youth who aged out of foster care, and those adopted after age 16, through their 21st birthdays.

The Ohio Fostering Connections Act will include a package of programs to help these young people prepare for college or a career, as well as transitional housing options, including apartment programs, campus housing and foster and host homes.

Without continuing support, many foster children are at high risk of homelessness, unemployment, under-education, dependence on public assistance, human trafficking and incarceration.

All children deserve a chance to succeed in life, and that shouldn’t be dependent on home life situations that are out of their control. Hopefully, this new law will help those who need transitional support on the right track to a successful adulthood.