Letter: Why foster and juvenile youth need help till age 25

Helping youth till age 25may avoid lifelong costs

Re: “Juvenile court jurisdiction should extend to age 25” (Opinion section, Mercurynews.com, Dec. 3):

Extending juvenile court jurisdiction to age 25 is a sound policy improvement.

In California, foster youth graduate from high school at a rate of about 58% and for juvenile justice youth in Santa Clara County in 2018, the rate was 48% (as opposed to 83% generally). College graduation rates are 3% for foster youth.

Launching youth into productive adulthood interrupts generational cycles of incarceration, poverty, homelessness, family violence, addiction and mental health disorders.

Connection to meaningful social support to age 25 should be part of foster youth’s toolkit. Stipend assistance with a social worker would help for necessities like housing and food until the age of 25, which would reduce well-documented negative outcomes that come with lifelong costs to the state.

This fills the gap of support for youth when they cannot rely on family and allows them to finish college and trade programs for lifelong self-sufficiency.

Katherine LuceroPresiding JudgeJuvenile DivisionSanta Clara County Superior CourtSan Jose

 

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Source: East Bay Letter: Why foster and juvenile youth need help till age 25