Florida Legislature - photo by Florida Today
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A bill that would allow Florida youngsters to remain in foster care until age 21 has cleared the state Legislature.
The measure (SB 1036) passed the House on a 116-1 vote Wednesday. It was approved by the Senate last week and now goes to Gov. Rick Scott.
Republican Sen. Nancy Detert of Venice says her measure will help foster children ease into adulthood.
Currently, youngsters leave foster care at age 18 in Florida. Detert says that puts them at a disadvantage for life.
She says her legislation prolongs their foster care "safety net" until they turn 21, which she says will give them a better chance of becoming productive adults.
Detert has cited statistics showing that an average of 1,500 Florida youngsters leave foster care at age 18 every year.