PNS Daily Newscast - September 24 

Update: A second accuser emerges with misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Also on the Monday rundown: We take you to a state where more than 60,000 kids are chronically absent from school; and we'll let you know why the rural digital divide can be a twofold problem.

Daily Newscasts

National Adoption Awareness Month: Older Children Need Support, Too

November 8, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Children's advocates in Ohio are celebrating National Adoption Awareness Month and spreading the message that older youth need support, too. Nationally known child welfare expert Pat O'Brien, executive director of You Gotta Believe! The Older Child Adoption & Permanency Movement, Inc., recently spoke to service providers in Columbus. He warns that when children turn 18 and are required to leave the foster care system, they end up fending for themselves without further support.

"The reality in the real world is that 22-year-old college students return home to their parents after they graduate college because there is no way to make it out on your own in this day and age, in this economy. That's been true for the last two-and-a-half or three decades."

He adds that one of the greatest contributors to homelessness is youth aging out of foster care without getting the support they need.

Executive director of Franklin County Children's Services, Eric Fenner, says the ideal situation would be the adoption of older children. But he says that often isn't possible, so it's critical that foster parents build a permanent relationship with the child in their care.

"That doesn't mean that we ask every foster parent to adopt every child, but that they make a commitment that they will remain a part of that child's life. Because if a child does not feel connected to something, they're going to flounder."

In Ohio, approximately 1,000 young people leave the foster care system each year at the age of 18.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH