On July 14, 2022, the Congressional Caucus for Foster Youth (CCFY) held a dinner event at the Capitol to highlight the recently-introduced Foster Youth and Driving Act, which would provide older youth in care with supports to obtain drivers licenses.

Lead sponsor Representative Danny Davis (D-IL) and cosponsor Representative Don Bacon (R-NE) both spoke about the importance of providing older youth in foster care with the support and opportunities needed to gain independence. The Representatives were joined by a panel of young people who articulately shared their personal experiences seeking independence from foster care as asked those present to support passage of the bill.

The panel was moderated by Gerry Glynn from Embrace Families, who also highlighted the organization’s Keys to Independence program, which assists youth in care in obtaining drivers’ licenses and other driving supports. A recent third-party analysis of the program produced a report to Congress, which was released at the CCFY dinner. The report concludes that youth in foster care that have a learner’s permit or driver’s license are more likely than their peers to have received a high school diploma or GED and are more likely to be employed.

Think of Us cohosted the event and also released a new report that details the results of a nation-wide survey of nearly 24,000 young people. The survey included five driving-related areas of assistance. Nationally, 64% of all youth surveyed requested at least one of the five forms of driving-related assistance, with 25% requesting assistance in getting a driver’s license.