As immediate fears of the pandemic begin to ease and the state begins its phased reopening, there is a slight, collective sigh of relief for some, but many will continue to feel the impact of the crisis for months to come, especially young adults on the precipice of aging out of foster care. While most young adults celebrate the right of passage that is their 21st birthday, for those who are in New York’s foster care system, the approach to emancipation can be rife with anxiety and uncertainty.
Coming of age in the midst of a pandemic leaves such young adults scrambling to find stability as the clock runs out on life sustaining supports and benefits. In the best of circumstances, young adults aging out of foster care face a myriad of challenges. Access to stable housing, employment, healthcare, and higher education have already proven to be difficult rings for this population to grasp hold of. The crisis that is COVID-19 and the resulting closures of businesses and college campuses has exacerbated the situation. As such, Senator Velmanette Montgomery and Assembly members Didi Barret, Ellen Jaffee and Tremaine Wright have introduced legislation to extend foster care benefits while the state continues to reel from high unemployment and slowed court processing.
Read the press release here.