By Kent Berkley
A bipartisan legislative task force has drafted a package of 13 bills designed to improve foster care in Wisconsin. The proposed legislative changes were announced during a news conference on November 28th. The bills were drafted after the task force completed a five-stop listening tour around the state in which testimony was gathered from service agencies, private providers, advocates, stakeholders and other concerned citizens. One of the proposals would provide free tuition for foster children within the University of Wisconsin System and the Wisconsin Technical College System. Doreen Goddard, Child and Family Services Manager with the Door County Department of Human Services, says that is critically important to provide ongoing support for young people as they transition to adulthood.
Goddard says that parents in healthy, stable families will tell you that their children need ongoing support and guidance, even after they become legal adults. She says it would be unfair to expect children in foster care, who have typically experienced more trauma and instability in their lives, to get by with less support as they transition to adulthood.