15 Jul 2013

Hawaii foster care age law applauded

3:47 pm on 15 July 2013

A former foster youth in Hawaii says a law that will extend the voluntary foster care age from 18 to 21 will be like a second chance for many in the foster care system.

The bill was enacted earlier this month and will take effect in July 2014.

An advocate at the Hawaii Foster Youth Coalition, and former foster youth, Gerald Yutob, says unless youth go on to higher education, they generally have to leave their foster parents' homes.

He says 18 is too young to be out on your own, because many are just transitioning out of high school, or working at minimum wage jobs, and need more time and support to plan for the future.

"This bill has really been a help to a lot of people because a lot of kids they make wrong decisions at 18, they don't have the right guidance and to just have extra years in the system to just better themselves, it's just fortunate for them to just have a great opportunity to use those years and take advantage to make positive choices out there in the real world."

Hawaii Foster Youth Coalition advocate, Gerald Yutob.