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Hawaii extending foster care help to age 21

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 06:27 a.m. HST, Jul 01, 2014

A new Hawaii program will allow former foster youth to voluntarily extend foster care until they turn 21.

The state Department of Human Service says its Imua Kakou program will provide extended foster board payments and housing opportunities. It will help youth get jobs and support their education.

The program is for young adults who turn 18 in foster care or youth who were adopted or placed in guardianship after the age of 16. The department is launching the program on Tuesday.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie says the state is sending a clear message it won't abandon foster youth simply because they turn 18.

The department says recent studies show youth who exit foster care without any support are at a high risk of homelessness, unemployment, substance abuse and incarceration.

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niceynicey wrote:
Good news.
on July 1,2014 | 07:14AM
Bdpapa wrote:
I like it! This gives these kids a chance to kick start their lives as adults.
on July 1,2014 | 07:33AM
BigIsandLava wrote:
At times some parents always threaten their kids that when they reach 18, we'd kick them out of the house but seldom do. I am glad DHS-CWS services understands their commitment to one of the most vulnerable population in our communities, foster youth. May be a little late, but still very much welcomed. And finally, foster board payments will be increased after no increases for over 23 years. Foster board payments now amounts to raising a foster youth on $17 a day. With an infant and diapers to purchase and you wonder why it's hard to recruit resource caregivers.
on July 1,2014 | 09:18AM
ellemnop wrote:
That's great news. These kids have had a difficult life already then to find themselves without any support at 18, especially in Hawaii, is tough. Mahalo to all the foster families who give their love and support to these foster youth.
on July 1,2014 | 10:41AM
jusbecuz wrote:
I am in support of the extended foster care benefits, however, I am of the belief that the foster care population is far higher than it should be and that family preservation efforts are not utilized enough to prevent child removals. The cost to the children is indeed high in the emotional trauma and the risks of homelessness, prostitution and prison time that statistics already show for these youth.
on July 1,2014 | 01:45PM
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