PHILADELPHIA â€” The Field Center for Childrenâ€™s Policy, Practice & Research will host a public hearing, â€śFoster Care: Aging Out â€“ Options and Obstacles,â€ť Wednesday, Nov. 2, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in Claudia Cohen Hall, 249 S. 36th St., on the University of Pennsylvania campus.
The state Senate hearing, held at the request of Sen. LeAnna M. Washington, minority chair of the Pennsylvania Senate Aging and Youth Committee, will address the obstacles that youth in foster care face when they reach age 18 and no longer have the foster care systemâ€™s support. Also to be addressed are options for Pennsylvania, including available programs, federal funds and extending foster care to age 21, to help these youth make a successful transition into adult life.
â€śYouth in foster care are often ill-prepared to care for themselves when they turn 18 and the state is no longer responsible for their care,â€ť Debra Schilling Wolfe, the executive director of the Field Center, said. â€śWe are pleased to host this important hearing that will provide our legislators with critical information so that youth that are without parents to guide them will have a chance at a positive future.â€ť
Cindy Christian, a professor of pediatrics at Pennâ€™s Perelman School of Medicine and faculty director for the Field Center, will testify about the needs of youth transitioning from the child to adult health-care system.
Cassie Bevan, a lecturer from Pennâ€™s School of Social Policy & Practice and Field Center fellow, will testify about federal legislation and funding, including potential resources available to the state.
After the hearing, Tara Grigg Garlinghouse, the Field Centerâ€™s Lerner Fellow, will work with the executive director of the committee to potentially craft legislation.
The Field Center brings together Pennâ€™s schools of Social Policy & Practice, Law and Medicine and the Childrenâ€™s Hospital of Philadelphia to improve the child-welfare system and the lives of child abuse and neglect victims.
Named in honor of Joseph and Marie Field, its founding benefactors, the Field Center is the only university-based center for child welfare in the nation which integrates the fields of social work, law and medicine to promote the well-being of abused and neglected children and those at risk of maltreatment.