Bill increasing foster care age to 21 passes Ohio House

A bill to expand eligibility for foster care services to the age of 21 in Ohio has cleared its next hurdle and passed the Ohio House by a vote of 91-2. We first discussed HB 50 in March shortly after Representatives Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) and Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City) introduced it. The bill would increase the age at which children age out of the foster care system from 18 to 21, allowing services to continue that could ultimately prevent homelessness, unemployment and dependence on public assistance.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that legislators stripped out one of the original provisions of the bill, which would have codified a ward's bill of rights. The bill now only requires that guardians give their wards a guide about their rights prepared by the Ohio Attorney General or Ohio Judicial Conference. Legislators also removed the allocation of $550,000 to fund the foster care expansion, leaving the requirement that the funding must be provided by July 1 by some other legislation, according to the Dispatch.

The bill will now move on to the Ohio Senate for consideration.