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Colorado Revised Statutes Title 19. Children's Code § 19-7-301. Legislative declaration

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(1) The general assembly finds and declares that:

(a) Each year, for a variety of reasons, more than two hundred youth, ages eighteen to twenty-one, exit Colorado's foster care system without an established permanent home or a stable support network;

(b) These youth typically do not have the same safety nets, supportive adults, and support networks as other youth their age;

(c) Many of these youth will face challenges as they search for affordable housing, pursue higher education or training, search for employment, manage tight budgets, take care of health needs, and more;

(d) Youth who are making the transition out of foster care into independent living face not only the typical developmental changes and new experiences that are common to youth but also the dramatic change from being under the county's care to being on their own, many without any support systems to help them succeed;

(e) Additionally, many of these youth are dealing with the long-term consequences of trauma related to their experience with abuse, neglect, removal, or overall lack of resources;

(f) The array of services and supports available to youth while they are in the foster care system, including housing, food, health-care, and caseworker support, diminish when the youth exit the foster care system;  and

(g) Available research shows that emancipating youth benefit from extended foster care services and supports until age twenty-one, and community-based supports through early adulthood, but for the benefits of such services and supports to last, youth in foster care need developmentally appropriate services, including freedom to test their independence and to make mistakes with proportional consequences and a reasonable safety net.

(2) Therefore, the general assembly declares that by establishing a voluntary transitional foster care program, allowing youth to reenter the state's foster care system through a foster youth in transition program, and ensuring equitable access to less restrictive supports in the community, the state can better meet the needs of those youth who are making the transition from foster care to successful adulthood.

Cite this article: - Colorado Revised Statutes Title 19. Children's Code § 19-7-301. Legislative declaration - last updated January 01, 2022 |

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