Ohio Extends Foster Care Services to Age 21

Posted June 3, 2016
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Childwelfareblog Ohio Legislature 2016

Ohio leg­is­la­tors recent­ly extend­ed fos­ter care ser­vices to age 21 — join­ing 23 oth­er states that are sim­i­lar­ly pro­vid­ing crit­i­cal sup­port as youth tran­si­tion to adulthood.

Some of Ohio’s most vul­ner­a­ble young peo­ple can cel­e­brate the prospects of a brighter future,” said Mark Mecum, chair­man of Ohio Fos­ter­ing Con­nec­tions, a coali­tion of advo­cates who cham­pi­oned the effort to increase the age from 18 to 21. With the pas­sage of House Bill 50, Ohio can begin the process of launch­ing a pro­gram of core sup­port ser­vices to help youth who age out of fos­ter care to bridge more suc­cess­ful­ly to adulthood.”

A Place 4 Me, the Jim Casey Youth Oppor­tu­ni­ties Ini­tia­tive site in Ohio, was inte­gral to build­ing local sup­port, includ­ing facil­i­tat­ing a com­mu­ni­ty forum in Cleve­land to engage the com­mu­ni­ty and sup­port youth voice. Young advo­cates from Cleve­land and around the state spent a day in April meet­ing their rep­re­sen­ta­tives and shar­ing their per­son­al mes­sages about the need for the exten­sion of care.

Demetrius M., a 23-year-old Ohioan, said this change is nec­es­sary because it gives youth like me the oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn more before they have to be on their own. Hon­est­ly, 18 is too young to be out there on your own.”

Learn more about Ohio’s exten­sion of fos­ter care services 

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