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Posted: Friday, March 15th, 2013 9:30 AM HST

Hawai`i House committee advances foster care bill

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) The State House Committee on Human Services has approved a bill to create a new foster care program for young adults, extending the state's foster services to
cover people up to age 21. Testimony about the bill this week was overwhelmingly positive. Advocates say that extending foster care services decreases the risk of homelessness and substance abuse while increasing the likelihood of education and employment.
Judith Wilhoite from Family Programs Hawai`i says that if the bill passes, Hawai`i would be the 16th U.S. state to extend foster care to age 21. Both the House and the Senate approved different versions of the bill last week. Committee Chairwoman Mele Carroll amended the Senate version Thursday to align its text
with the House proposal. The bill now goes to the judiciary committee.

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