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Bill seeks to offer college aid to teens in foster care

Joe Irizarry
Delaware Public Media

Legislation that would provide financial assistance to children who were in the foster care system and attend college in Delaware advances from the House Education Committee.

The bill would support children who spent part or all of their teen years in foster care and have no financial backing to access higher education through tuition waivers.

That waiver would cover the cost of tuition, fees, and room and board at the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, and Delaware Technical Community College.

The bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Krista Griffith says this allows foster kids to chase their dreams.

"It's important that we provide these children and these teenagers that have been in our system with opportunities to become successful adults and allow them to have dreams such that if they want to attend a music program at the University of Delaware that option is available to them, if they want to be a pilot they can go to Delaware State University, they want to be a mechanic they have that option at Del Tech," she said.

Griffith adds the state will not have to spend extra money for this program.

"Between 10 to 20 youth will be eligible each year with this if this legislation passes," said Griffth. "There is no fiscal note for the legislation because thankfully the institutions are going to absorb the costs."

Griffith says if it becomes law it can help teens in the foster care system far beyond their college years.

"This allows our youth and foster care to pick from our three educational systems and help them really obtain a better future, and I think as we all can know if the more options and opportunities that we provide to these young people the better off they will be," said Griffith. "And the less likely it is that they will return in need for services when they become adults."

The legislation now heads to the full House. 

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.
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