Governor Jay Nixon signed two bills today to better assist children in foster care with the transition to adulthood.
The new laws allow young people up to 21-years-old to re-enter foster care if they have previously left. The previous maximum age to re-enter the program was 18 years old.
The legislation comes on the heels of research suggesting children in foster care who remain in care beyond the age of 18 rather than leaving have better outcomes in terms of employment, health, education, incarceration, and homelessness.
Governor Nixon says the new laws will provide young people who exited foster care a chance to have the care they otherwise would not have.
“These bills will make sure that when kids need to find their footing, there’s something there they can count on for support," said Nixon. "This legislation is good for kids, good for our communities, and good for our state.”
Young people over 15 in foster care will also have to visit a state university, community or technical college, or a military recruiter before leaving state custody, unless their family support team waives this visit.