In one of those rare moments of enthusiastic bipartisan support, the Senate voted 39-0 on Thursday to join Sen. Nancy Detert as co-sponsors of a bill to allow teens and young adults to stay in foster care until age 21.
The Venice Republican, who has worked on foster care issues for more than 10 years, said the bill (SB 1036) would give teens who currently age out of the system at 18 a safety net. Many of these kids are still in high school or getting a GED at age 18 because their lives and education have been so disrupted.
In Florida, an average of 1,290 children aged-out of care over the past three years, according to the state.
The bill (SB 1036), presented on second reading, will now be scheduled for a third reading and a vote. Rep. Keith Perry said he temporarily postponed a vote on House Bill 1315 earlier this week in order to take up the Senate version, which looks certain to pass.