December 14,1999

Foster Care Independence Act Signed into Law

WASHINGTON -- Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE) today released the following statement on the signing of the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 into law.

"This legislation will provide important assistance to the nation's foster care children," Roth stated. "It will help teenage foster children make the transition to adulthood. A childhood spent in foster care is a big enough challenge. With the enactment of this legislation, we can help these children find a brighter future."

• The bill expands this program to provide assistance to former foster children between 18 and 21 by helping them with further education, career planning, or job training. This bill also encourages, but does not require, States to provide Medicaid to such young adults.

• The legislation doubles Federal funding available to the States for the foster care independent living program which helps children make the transition from foster care to self-sufficiency, from $70 million to $140 million per year.

• These programs also offer personal support through mentors, as well as financial assistance and housing.

•The bill increases to $10,000 dollars the amount foster children may save and still be eligible for foster care.