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New South Carolina foster care bill to help transitioning youth

South Carolina State House
South Carolina State House(Gray)
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 3:53 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Gov. Henry McMaster and members of the General Assembly joined together in a ceremony for the signing of a new foster care bill Wednesday.

The new bill will allow the state to draw down federal funding to provide for an extended, voluntary foster care program when a child ages out of foster care on their 18th birthday.

“By providing additional resources to our youth aging out of foster care we significantly increase their chance of success in adulthood and create a brighter future for all of South Carolina,” said Governor Henry McMaster.

McMaster also says this legislation will greatly improve the outcomes of the foster care system.

South Carolina is currently running a state-run program funded with 100% state funds for children aged 18-21 that have aged out of foster care.

In the current state-funded program, SCDSS is serving children who have voluntarily signed themselves back into care.

Services provided to these children include aid with housing, transportation, education/training, case management, and preparing them for adulthood.

By adding this statute change into state law, South Carolina will be able to draw down federal Title IV-E dollars to help fund this program.

“We are so excited about today’s signing,” SCDSS Director Michael Leach said. “Extending foster care until a youth’s 21st birthday, through this voluntary program, means invaluable added assistance for our youth as they begin to go out on their own.

He says foster children having that support is crucial to making sure they get the strong start they need to be successful and productive adults.

“Today is just the beginning of their story and their future,” he said.

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