On Friday, Governor Mike DeWine made an announcement about the Bridges program and foster youth during his daily press conference. He decided to expand eligibility for Participants beyond their 21st birthday per guidelines recently released by ODJFS. The guidance says “Participants who have reached age 21 since March 9, 2020 will now be able to remain in Bridges through June 30, 2020.” This is welcome news to Participants who would have reached the age limit during Ohio’s public health emergency. Further, guidance released by ODJFS also encourage county custodial agencies to keep foster children in custody instead of emancipating them when appropriate. The state designated funding that counties may access to offset the cost of maintaining care and custody of these young adults during the public health emergency.
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