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New law leaves some foster youth hanging


A new law, California Fostering Connection to Success Act or AB 12, extends support for foster children until age 20. But because the law is being phased in, youth who turn 19 this year will not receive support until January 1, 2013. David Colby, a former foster child who had been accepted into UC Berkeley, may only be covered by Contra Costa County until August. Until then, he could be on his own. In his op-ed piece “A Tale of Two Fridays,” Daniel Heimpel, the director of Fostering Media Connections and publisher of The Chronicle of Social Change, documented Colby's story. He spoke with KALW's Holly Kernan to talk about what AB 12 will mean for foster children.

DANIEL HEIMPEL: Child advocates can make the mantra forever, and they have cost analysis up the wazoo, and that doesn't seem to penetrate. But it's clear that at some point, if you don't invest in kids, it's going to cost you a lot later. It's obvious that these kids need support, and that's going to help us.

Listen to the full interview above.



Holly Kernan is the architect of the award-winning Public Interest Reporting Project. She is currently news director at KALW 91.7FM in San Francisco. In 2009 she was named Journalist of the Year by the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Kernan teaches journalism at Mills College and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and has taught at Santa Rosa Junior College, Youth Radio and San Francisco State University's Lifelong Learning Institute. She lives in Oakland with her husband, Mike, daughter, Julia, and retired greyhound Benjamin Franklin.