To the Editor;
According to the Department of Children and Families annual report, the department provided transition services to 2,742 young adults in the foster care system in fiscal year 2019. Providing youth exiting the foster care system with proper transition services is imperial to a path for continued success. Per the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, the current law in Massachusetts states a transition plan must be personally designed within 90 days prior to the youth’s emancipation whether age 18 or 22 and tailored to the youth’s direct needs.
The major mission of the Children’s League of Massachusetts is to promote the overall welfare of children and their families in Massachusetts by directly influencing legislation and public policy. The Children’s League supports and advocates for children, youth, and families by focusing on direct needs and common action. One of the current bills the Children’s League is sponsoring is Ensuring Positive Transition for At-Risk Youth. This bill will mandate all youth in the state’s foster care system to be discharged with a detailed, written transition plan. This process will begin when the youth reach age 14. This ensures there is ample time for the youth to transition from the foster care system to a successful adulthood. Supporting this bill would have a direct impact on Massachusetts young adults exiting the foster care system as all programs and services and options will be addressed and approved by a caseworker assigned to the youth.
You can help these at-risk youth by contacting your local representative and urging them to become familiar with this bill and potentially voting to pass the Act Ensuring Positive Transition for at Risk Youth.
Danielle Bassett, Rochester
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