A bill that would provide guardians for foster children who are severely disabled and turning 18 is moving in both houses of the Florida Legislature.
The Senate Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs unanimously passed the bill by Senator Nancy Detert (DEE-turt) on Thursday.
The bill aims to identify Floridians who don’t have the capacity to make decisions in their own best interests before they turn 18…and to provide them with guardian advocates.
Representative Janet Adkins is the bill’s sponsor in the House, which also passed its first committee unanimously this week.
“They are our children in Florida that are the most vulnerable: those children who’ve been removed from their families, they’re in foster care, they have an intellectual disability — and sometimes they’re not able to make the best decisions.”
Those decisions can involve health, education and housing — and young adults who have aged out of foster care have suffered when they rejected such services.
The bill was inspired partly by Regis Little, who aged out of foster care in 2008 and was stabbed to death in an Orlando parking lot before his 19th birthday.
News Service of Florida, February 19, 2015