Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 Essay

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Foster Care Independence Act of 1999

Before this bill was signed into law the Federal
Government provided about $70 million per year to conduct programs for adolescents leaving foster care that are designed to help them establish independent living.
Research and numerous reports from States conducting these programs indicate that adolescents leaving foster care do not fare well. As compared with other adolescents and young adults their age, they are more likely to quit school, to be unemployed, to be on welfare, to have mental health problems, to be parents outside marriage, to be arrested, to be homeless, and to be the victims of violence and other crimes (Cook, 1991).
The need for special help for youths ages 18 to 21
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These things listed above are addressed in bill H.R. 3443.
Young people need appropriate information about the strengths and limitations of all permanency options, including adoption, legal guardianship, and other permanent living arrangement, as well as emancipation. Though many foster teens are adopted each year, emancipation to independence is the reality for many others. Long lasting, supportive, and strong connections to family members, friends, and other adults are critical to young people's healthy development while they are in foster care and to their success in adult life. Young people report that relationships with people who care about them and are there for them consistently make all the difference in the world when they are on their own (Mech, 1994). These are some of the problems faced by 20,000 foster children who age-out of care each year.
History
In the early 1980's, older adolescents in foster care and young adults who had been discharged from foster care become a source of great
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