LANSING -- A 21-step action plan - based on recommendations from - foster care youths - will improve health care, education, job opportunities and resources for young people aging out of foster care, according to a report released to the Michigan Legislature today by the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS).
About 450 youths in Michigan left foster care, or "aged out," at age 18 during 2005. These young adults are at greater risk for poverty, homelessness, unemployment and other negative outcomes. In January 2006, DHS director Marianne Udow and Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan convened a task force to evaluate existing services for foster youth and propose improvements.
"Many foster care youths face a bleak future after they age out, as both national and state statistics demonstrate," said Justice Maura Corrigan, who served on the national Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care. "Courts, public agencies and the private sector have to work together to give aging-out foster care youths the opportunity for better lives. Separation of powers doesn't mean anything to a child about to leave care."
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