Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Historic Legislation Expanding Aftercare Services for Young Adults Transitioning from Foster Care


Governor Ron DeSantis signed a ground-breaking legislative piece today presented by Senator Ileana García, chair of the Children and Families Committee, and Representative Tramont. The bill, known as SB 564 (2024), aims to significantly enhance aftercare services for young adults transitioning from foster care in Florida.

When children are placed in out-of-home care, the Department of Children and Families, DCF, and the CBCs (Community-Based Care) must find safe and permanent homes as quickly as possible. The community-focused care programs collaborate with reputable non-profit organizations in the area to deliver essential child welfare services to children who have experienced abuse, neglect, or abandonment within their local communities. In most cases, children are reunified with their families once parents complete a specific case plan. When reunification is not possible, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) will seek to place the child in a permanent home with relatives or in a foster home. DCF strives for permanency for all children in care before their 18th birthday. However, a child will exit care upon turning 18 if a permanent placement is not found.

Young adults aged 18-22 transitioning from foster care face challenges in achieving self-sufficiency. Compared to young adults without foster care experience, these young adults are less likely to obtain a high school diploma or GED or attend college. They are more likely to experience mental health issues, have increased involvement in the criminal justice system, struggle to achieve financial independence, require public assistance, and experience housing instability or homelessness.

Under this new law, eligibility requirements have been modified to extend aftercare services to certain young adults aged 18-22, providing the necessary support as they face the challenges of independent life after being in foster care. Moreover, the Department of Children and Families has been empowered to distribute federal funds to eligible young adults in specific circumstances, ensuring they have access to crucial resources during this transitional period.

“It is an honor to have worked alongside Representative Tramont in advocating for this bill, which will greatly expand aftercare services for young adults in our state,” stated Senator Ileana García, chair of the Children and Families Committee. “By providing support to those transitioning from foster care to independent life, we are offering a vital lifeline as they navigate their way to independent adulthood.”

The legislation was accompanied by a $7.8 million appropriation, emphasizing the state’s steadfast commitment to equip young adults who have transitioned from foster care with the necessary resources for a successful transition to independent living.

For more information on this new law and its impact on young adults transitioning from foster care, please contact Senator Ileana García’s Office.



Miami’s Community News

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Alexia Nechayev

FYS Events & Meeting Chair
(Palm Beach)

Hello, My name is Alexia Nechayev. I am 25 years old and I am an alumna of Florida International University where I received my B.A. in Psychology. My future career goal is to be a Lawyer. I was in care for about one year from age 17 to 18. Prior to entering care, I only knew about the negative stigma regarding foster care and while in care that narrative was unfortunately my experience.

In school I felt like I was on display because my status in care was broadcast to other students and in my placement behavior was leveraged for “privileges” that should be a natural right of all children. Because I did not know my rights I did not know that what I was experiencing was wrong. Today this is exactly why I advocate, because I don’t want this to be the same for other youth who are experiencing foster care.

This is my second year on the FYS Statewide Board and I’m happy to be the Events and Meetings Chair this year because my main goal through advocacy is to reach as many people as possible. My favorite thing as a board member is to see how comfortable members become while working together. The community needs to know that youth in foster care are real people, going through some of the hardest moments of their life and youth need to know that their voice is powerful. I believe that we have to speak up and bring these issues to people’s attention so that they do not forget us. Advocacy, education and consistency is the only way.

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