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Child Welfare Advocates Push For Foster Care To 21

Child-welfare advocates in Ohio are launching a campaign to get the state to extend foster care to age 21. A task force plans to push for the change and get the state to pay part of the tab. Mark Mecum, executive director of the Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies, says that more than 1,000 young adults "age out" of the system at age 18 with little support. Mecum says 25 states and the District of Columbia have programs to stretch foster care to age 21. Youths are able to keep services as they work toward independence. A law allows states to use federal foster-care money for youths up to age 21, but state and local governments have to pay some of the cost.