Foster care youth to testify to state lawmakers about educational challenges
By Kevin Lavery, WKAR News
East Lansing, MI – Foster care children from all over Michigan will testify before a panel of state lawmakers today. They'll be speaking about the difficulties they face in high school and on their road to college.
The event at Michigan State University put kids who are aging out of the foster care system face to face with some 50 lawmakers to tell them their personal stories.
It's part of a larger summer camp program this week designed to help youth finish school and move on to college.
President Jack Kresnak with the independent advocacy group Michigan's Children says foster care youth don't have the same support systems other college students have.
"We have a special obligation to them to make sure that we're supporting them past the age of 18 as they start their lives and careers," Kresnak says. "We want them to be successful parents and taxpayers and workers, and they can't do that without a little support when they're in college."
Kresnak says this type of one on one testimony helps lawmakers gain a clearer sense of the funding decisions they make about foster care programs.