Bill provides help for former foster kids

Posted: Friday, March 22, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- Former foster children would get a little help making the transition to adulthood under a bill that passed the House on Friday.

House Bill 209 lets Alaska use $500,000 in federal funds to help young people 16 and older who are leaving or will be leaving the foster care system.

The money can be spent for a variety of needs parents help other young adults with -- from college courses and apprenticeships to household supplies, such as pots and pans, according to the Department of Health and Social Services.

The bill doesn't cost the state any money. In fact, the state will lose the $500,000 if it doesn't pass a law allowing it to be spent for young people leaving foster care.

Rep. Fred Dyson, R-Eagle River, said the programs isn't the best outcome for foster children, who ideally would have been reunited with their biological parents or adopted at an early age.

''The best didn't happen to these kids and many of them need some help,'' Dyson said.

The measure passed the House unanimously and now goes to the Senate.

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