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Antonovich addresses foster youth issues

OW Staff | 3/18/2009, 5 p.m.

Los Angeles, CA -- The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has asked for a report on cases of identity theft targeting foster youths and ways to protect teenage wards of the county.

Supervisor Michael Antonovich asked for the report, on Tuesday, in light of a recently passed state law that requires county welfare agencies to ask for credit checks on foster youths who are 16 or older and to refer them to credit counseling groups if the credit check turns up negative information.

Antonovich stated the county's emancipated foster youth, striving to establish productive lives, are especially vulnerable.

At Antonovich's request, the board also threw its support behind a separate bill that, if passed, would raise the age of emancipation for foster youth from 18 to 21.

"Cutting off kids at age 18 is government-sanctioned child abuse," he said, adding that research suggests that raising the age of emancipation could decrease foster kids' chances of winding up incarcerated or homeless.