DCFS wants to raise age of children allowed in foster care system

DCFS says older children should be allowed in La. foster care system

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is looking to bring big changes to its foster programs in 2019.

In 2018, DCFS began looking into increasing the age of those allowed in the foster care system in the state from 18 to 21. It’s allowed federally, but the state has to opt in. Last session, legislators approved the expansion of the program, but only for 21-year-old people in high school or working on a similar degree. Now, they want to expand that to include all 21-year-old people.

“We’ve got to do better, because what we’re learning about brain development is those 18, 19, 20-year-olds are just like those little bitties and the brain is going through a brand new synapsis and building,” said Marketa Walters, secretary of DCFS.

Secretary Walters also says they plan to raise the issue this upcoming legislative session.

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