On Wednesday, July 22, Congressmember Karen Bass (D-CA) introduced the Foster Youth Independence Act, HR 3160. The legislation, which has 29 cosponsors, allows states that have opted to extend foster care to 21 year olds to expand the current use of federal funds to age 23 under the under the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program . The bill does not provide additional funding but does encourage states—as a condition of expanded use of Chaffee funds—to extend their foster care age to 21.
Chris James-Brown, President and CEO CWLA provided a letter of endorsement for the bill introduction stating,
“Your legislation takes an important next step by encouraging more states to extend care to age 21 and allowing those states to extend their use of Chaffee Foster Care Independence program funding to age 23.”
In May, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced a similar bill, S 1439.