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Nixon signs foster care bills, praises state programs


COLUMBIA, Mo. — Gov. Jay Nixon signed two bills expanding services for the state’s foster care children today at the Boone County Courthouse in Columbia, Mo.

Nixon signs Senate bills 205 and 208 at the Boone County Courthouse Thursday morning.
Nixon signs Senate bills 205 and 208 at the Boone County Courthouse Thursday morning.

The bills raise the maximum age a child may re-enter foster care if they so choose and allows for visits of colleges, technical schools and military facilities for eligible foster children exploring higher education options.

“These are exactly the kinds of policies we need to provide for our states foster children,” Nixon told the crowd at the courthouse. “Our foster care programs throughout the state are doing incredible work, and I’m proud to continue supporting those efforts.”

Senate Bill 205, sponsored by Sen. David Sater, R-Barry, would provide eligible foster children with visits to colleges, technical schools or military training facilities, much like their counterparts in the public and private school systems.

Senate Bill 208, sponsored by Sen. Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, extends the age that a child my willingly re-enter foster care if they have left from 18 to 21.

Nixon gave copies of the bill as well as signing pens to state employees and private citizens involved in foster care, including Mary Chant, CEO of Missouri Coalition of Children’s Agencies.

“We applaud the governor and the Missouri General Assembly for passing this important piece of legislation,” Chant said in a statement. “By extending this safety net for young people in foster care by just a few years, we can make sure they stay healthy, safe and successful as they become young adults.”