The Nebraska Legislature Health and Human Services Committee held hearings Thursday to discuss foster care bills introduced this session.
One bill introduced by Lincoln Sen. Amanda McGill would look to allow youth who age out of the foster care system to continue to receive assistance from the state until they reach the age of 21.
LB216 would help foster care youth transition into adulthood by offering assistance securing housing and Medicaid. McGill says foster care youth leaving the system need more assistance from the state because they're facing significant barriers while looking for employment and entering college.
Another bill being looked at Thursday is LB265, introduced by Sen. Colby Coash.
The bill seeks to make it easier for people to considered for kinship or relative placements. In 2012, senators passes a bill that requires licensing for all foster parents not related to the child by blood, marriage or adoption.
This bill would change that, making it easier for individuals who have either lived with the child or who have had significant contact with the child to achieve placement without the wait time of licensure.
The idea is that allowing for more kinship placements would keep children with people they know until they are able to go back home.