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Foster Care Bill Passes Assembly

Oakland Post, News Report, Posted: Jun 18, 2009

OAKLAND -- Assembly Majority Leader bill (D-Newark) to help increase the number of foster youth nine-years-old or older who are adopted out of foster care easily passed the state Assembly today on a 56 to 0 vote. The bill now goes to the state Senate.

AB 665 would ensure that federal incentive payments awarded to California will be distributed to counties to fund activities to improve legal permanency outcomes for foster youth. The activities include: Post adoption services to avert adoption disruptions; family finding to locate relatives willing to make lifelong commitments to youth; recruitment of adoptive parents who will make homes for siblings; preparing youth for permanent adoption; resolving barriers to adoption

About 60 percent of Californias foster youth are nine years old and above, Torrico said. As these children age, it becomes less likely that they will be placed in a permanent home. This bill will help counties take steps to increase the likelihood that these foster youth can find a permanent home where there will be caring adults and a support system to help these children achieve their goals.

Last year, California finalized 7,580 adoptions, up from 2007s 7,481 adoptions. The increase resulted in federal bonus payments to the state. Under federal law, the money must be reinvested into special projects for children and families. Youth who age out of the foster care system with no permanent home are more likely to become homeless, drop out of high school, become teen parents, be unemployed, use drugs or alcohol, and end up in prison.

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