Rep. Danny K. Davis Introduces The Foster Youth Driving Act

WASHINGTON— A new bill introduced today by Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL) aims to make it easier for foster youth to obtain driver’s education, vehicle insurance, practice lessons, and driver’s license fees.

Bruce Lesley, President of the First Focus Campaign for Children, said with regards to The Foster Youth Driving Act (H.R. 2512):

“Too many foster youth face insurmountable barriers to getting a driver’s license: from the course fees and the cost of insurance, to the need for an adult who can help with their practice hours.

Studies have shown that kids with access to a car do better in school, get better jobs, have more college options, and have more successful careers.

I applaud Rep. Danny Davis for introducing this important bill that would make it easier for foster youth to get to school, work, and benefit from all the opportunities that come with access to a vehicle.”

The bill also provides training for foster parents to help kids in their care achieve practice hours and understand the information relating to obtaining a driver’s license.

Rep. Davis calls transportation “one of the largest barriers” for foster youth to overcome as they transition into adulthood.

“It impacts every aspect of their well-being, and has been an impediment to meeting their education and employment goals. These kids deserve better,” he said.

In 2014, a study conducted by the Urban Institute found that families with access to vehicles live in neighborhoods with better environmental and social quality than those without cars.

To learn more, visit youthgoingplaces.org.

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New Laws Will Help Ind. Foster Children Starting Adult Life

Eagle County 99.3 FM 

By Mike Perleberg

(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Two new laws will make life easier for Indiana’s foster children aging out of the system.

The Indiana Youth Institute’s Kids Count Data Center says there were more than 16,600 Hoosier children in foster care in 2015, up from about 10,700 just five years earlier. 

Read the full story here.

Pair of Indiana Laws Eases Life for Former Foster Children

The Republic

INDIANAPOLIS — Two new Indiana laws aim to help foster children who age out of the system without finding a permanent home or being reunited with their families.

One of the new measures recently signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb allows these 18-year-olds to automatically remain on Medicaid until age 26, The Journal Gazette reported (http://bit.ly/2pJOI7a ). That legislation requires the Family and Social Services Administration to enroll the foster children before they age out and removes the requirement to reapply every year.

Read the full story here.

New Law Helps Foster Kids Get Licensed to Drive

Northwest Public Radio 

By Patricia Murphy

It’s expensive to become a licensed driver in Washington State. There are permitting fees, driver's ed classes, testing and insurance costs. For foster children or their caregivers it’s often a significant hurdle. 

A bill signed by Governor Jay Inslee will reimburse caregivers or foster children for the costs associated with getting a driver's license.

Read the whole story here.

Bill To Allow Foster Kids To Buy Car Insurance Hits Ducey's Desk

KJZZ 

By  Mark Brodie 

This week, the Arizona Legislature pushed a bill to Gov. Doug Ducey’s desk that would allow children in foster care to buy car insurance.

This bill changes the current law that had barred minors from entering into contracts, effectively blocking children with no co-signing adult from the path to earning a driver’s license all together. 

Read the full story here.

With Gov. Scott Approval, Pilot Helping Foster Kids Get Driver's Licenses Now Permanent

WFSU 

By  SASCHA CORDNER  

Governor Rick Scott has signed the “Keys To Independence” Act into law again. Years ago, he signed the measure into law creating the pilot program. Now, Scott’s approval this week now makes the program permanent to make it easier for Florida’s foster kids obtain driver’s license. 

Read the full story here

2 Laws Ease Life for Former Foster Children

The Journal Gazette 

By Niki Kelly 

Several hassles for health insurance, driver's licenses gone 

INDIANAPOLIS – Jaquesha Smart didn't get a driver's license when she was in foster care, and now struggles to stay on Medicaid at age 21 because of the constant paperwork hassles.

But the Indiana legislature passed two bills targeting those exact issues, meant to help young people like Smart, who aged out of foster care at 18 without being reunited with their family or finding a permanent home.  

Read the full story here.

Keys to Adulthood: Arizona Bill Would let Foster Kids Buy Car Insurance

AZ Central 

By Mary Jo Pitzl

Foster kids would be able to buy car insurance — if they can afford it — under a bill that is touted as the first step to giving foster teens access to the driving experience. 

When you're a foster kid, there are plenty of barriers to feeling normal

Mark Leeper remembers a key obstacle: He couldn't drive. Not for lack of interest, but because there was no way he could legally obtain the car insurance that was needed to get a permit and, later, a license.

"It wasn't even an option," said Leeper, now 31.

Read the full story here.

Indiana Connected By 25 Applauds Governor’s Signing of Two Foster Youth Measures

By Kate Shepherd

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Indiana Connected By 25 praises Governor Eric Holcomb’s signing of two measures that will have dramatic effects on Indiana foster youth.  Senate Enrolled Act 366 (Driver’s Licenses for Foster Youth) and Senate Enrolled Act 497 (Medicaid for Former Foster Youth) were both signed by the Governor late Friday afternoon. 

Read the full story here.

Bill Enabling Foster Children to Obtain Driver's License to go into Effect

www.wistv.com

By Warren Stocker, Digital Content Producer

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A bill that Governor McMaster signed in early April which enables children in foster care to obtain driver’s licenses and permits goes into effect next week.

Senate Bill 198 expanded the list of responsible adults who can legally sign the application for a minor to obtain a beginner’s permit or driver’s license. The old law specified that only a parent or guardian of a child could authorize the child to get their beginners permit. The language of the law barred children in foster care and others in non-traditional family settings from getting their permits and licenses.

Read the full story here.

Let's Keep Foster Care Program for Teen Drivers Moving Forward | Opinion

Sun Sentinel 

By Jennifer Sullivan, Aaron Bean 

Keys to Independence program's success can continue with Florida legislators' support. 

As young people transition to adulthood, earning their driver's license provides a certain level of independence and economic mobility — a vehicle, if you will, to go places in life.

Whether heading to school or work, the doctor's office or the grocery store, having the ability to drive is a necessity most Floridians take for granted. 

Until recently, however, getting a license —  not to mention paying for car insurance — was nearly impossible for teens in the state's foster care system. Three years ago, in fact, only 20 youth ages 15 to 18 in the foster care system anywhere in Florida received their driver's license before the age of 18.

Read the full story here.

Student Helps Change Driving Age for Foster Youth

The Murray State News

By Abby Siegel, News Editor

Glenda Wright, senior from Owensboro, Kentucky, is making a difference for children in foster care, inspired by her personal experience in the system.

Wright said her mother, who had a drug addiction, dropped her and her three siblings off at daycare one day and never returned. 

Growing up Wright and her siblings lived with her grandmother, but when she passed away in 2009, they were taken into the care of the state. She had three total placements that ultimately divided Wright from her siblings.

Read the full story here.

Florida bill to help foster children get drivers' licenses

The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 

Children in Florida foster care will get help obtaining a driver's license and auto insurance under a bill heading to Gov. Rick Scott.

The House unanimously passed the bill Wednesday that would make permanent a pilot program that began in 2014. The program reimburses foster parents or children for driver's education, license fees and insurance.

The idea is to help children in state care become more independent. The cost of the program is $800,000.


Read the full story here

Wake Senator Leading Charge to Overhaul NC Child Welfare System

Capitol Broadcasting Company

By Matthew Burns and Laura Leslie

RALEIGH, N.C. — Saying North Carolina's child welfare system has failed too many youngsters for too long, Sen. Tamara Barringer, R-Wake, said Wednesday it's time to overhaul the system.

"Children deserve a family, not a system," Barringer, a foster mother herself for 10 years, said during a news conference to discuss Senate Bill 594, which she filed Tuesday. 

Read the full story here.

NC Legislators Eye Improvements to Beleaguered Foster Care System

WNCN

By Carleigh Griffeth 

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Around 10,500 kids in North Carolina are depending on the state to give them a good home. That’s why state lawmakers are now calling for an overhaul of the child welfare system. It’s an organization that has been struggling to keep up with the number of children entering foster care.

CBS NC reported on the foster parent shortage back in February.

“How many times do we have to be told that we are failing before we do something?” said Sen. Tamara Barringer, (R-Wake County) 

Read the full story here.

 
 

NC Senate Bill Looks To Address Foster Child Care Problems

WTVD-TV.

By DeJuan Hoggard 

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- In December 2015, a report by the US Department of Health & Human Services found North Carolina to not be in "substantial conformity" when it came to safety and quality of children in the social services system.

On Wednesday, Republican State Sen. Tamara Barringer stood before members of the press, and flanked by supporters and other lawmakers, introduced Senate Bill 594, the Child/Family Protection and Accountability Act. 

Read the full story here

Groundbreaking Program Helping Foster Children Get Driver’s Licenses Made Permanent as SB 60 Passes House and Goes to Governor

Guardian ad Litem  

By Alan Abramowitz

Tallahassee, Florida – A pilot program helping youth in the child welfare system get driver’s licenses, was expanded and became permanent today with the passage of SB 60 and HB 217.  Known as the “Keys to Independence Act,” the program assists youth with getting a learner’s permit or driver’s license, helps find driver education courses and insurance, and offers financial assistance.  The program has served over 1,200 youth, and quadrupled the number of children with licenses, prompting Senator Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina) and Representative Jennifer Sullivan (R-Eustis) to file legislation to make it permanent and enhance it.

Read the full story here