This coming week, the Pa. General Assembly will be voting on a critical piece of legislation, HB 1866, aimed at ensuring standards for permanency services for youth turning 18, a time when typically services can end for a child transitioning into adulthood.
Turning 18 represents a pivotal point in life, with new life experiences like college, entering the workforce, living independently, or other exciting and challenging responsibilities. For many youth, this point in life includes the support of biological parents and other natural networks who help guide them and are available when navigating new experiences. Unfortunately, this is not often the case for older youth who are in and transitioning out of the foster care system.
Transition age youth—ages 14 to 21—are older youth in the foster care system transitioning to permanency with a caregiver or aging out of the system to adulthood. Transition age youth often struggle with this life transition due to unique circumstances with being a foster child. Not always having adequate planning and support services to ease the transition can lead to poorer outcomes that have lifelong impacts.
We ask that you support this bill and work with your legislators to get this passed. PA Partnerships for Children has created an amazing fact sheet that can be used to support your efforts. If you have additional questions, please contact RCPA Children’s Director Jim Sharp. We also ask that you share this information with any and all in your network.