Last year, LB 216 was adopted 44-2 by the Unicameral. This hard-won piece of legislation ensured that young people aging out of Nebraska’s foster care system would have a basic safety net of support as they transition into adulthood, in order to avoid the too-common outcomes of homelessness, pregnancy and chronic health problems.
With help from an advisory committee appointed by the Nebraska Children’s Commission, implementation plans for LB 216 – now called Bridge to Independence – have been carefully crafted and incorporated into LB 853. Senator Amanda McGill introduced this bill to ensure that the Bridge to Independence program will be enacted in a way that will maximize its potential to make a difference.
The advisory committee responsible for the recommendations included in the new bill pulls from all important stakeholder groups – young people, advocates, nonprofits, policy makers and community stakeholders. Many from Project Everlast and Nebraska Children and Families Foundation contributed to the recommendations.
Two of Project Everlast’s most vocal supporters of Bridge to Independence testified before the legislature last week. Watch their testimony now:
The Bridge to Independence program will start 60 days after the federal government approves Nebraska’s state plan amendment. Until them, young people aging out of foster care in Nebraska will still receive benefits from the Former Ward program.