Children among those losing cash assistance

By JENNIFER CHEN
Capital News Service
LANSING – Many children have lost cash assistance since September due to the 60-month limit set by the Department of Human Services, according to the Michigan League for Human Services. The number of people who lost benefits dropped 30 percent between September 2011 and February 2012. Nearly 66,000 people, including 46,000 children lost benefits, according to the Department of Human Services. Families are allowed to receive assistances for 60 months while job hunting. “A 60-month limit is particularly harsh.

Youth could stay longer in foster care system

By JON GASKELL
Capital News Service
LANSING — A new Department of Human Services (DHS) program would allow youth to remain in foster care until they turn 21. The voluntary program would allow participants to continue receiving foster care payments, health care and counseling after they turn 18. They would be eligible to remain in the program if they are employed at least 80 hours per month, are in school or a job training program, or if they can’t work or attend school due to a medical condition. Every year, around 600 youth age out of foster care, losing eligibility for funds that DHS officials say could help them transition into adulthood. Of the state’s 14,000 foster care youth, 585 will be eligible for the program this year.

Foster care could expand for some 18-year-olds

By Nick McWherter
CAPITAL NEWS SERVICE
LANSING- Michigan kids without parents could remain in foster care until they are 21 under a set of bills before the Legislature. Currently they have to leave when they turn 18. The Young Adult Voluntary Foster Care Act would provide assistance to teens that arrive in the foster care system when they are between the ages of 16 and 18. They would continue to receive financial assistance for post-secondary education through the Department of Human Services. “It is an area that most people don’t think about,” said Sen. John Proos, R- St.