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F544456FDCC78525872584770068E226 Hearing Summary


Date Sep 16, 2019      
Location Old State Library

Discussion of Barriers to Foster Children Obtaining Driver Licenses - Committee Discussion Only

01:05:45 PM  
The committee came back to order.
01:07:15 PM  

Nicole Drake, representing the Department of Human Services Child Welfare; Tori Schuler, representing Fostering Great Ideas; Shayne Madsen, representing herself; Julie Thomerson, representing Adams CountyDepartment of Human Services; Andrea Bradford, representing Adams County Human Services; Flavio Quintana, representing the Dvision of Motor Vehicles; and Ashley Chase, representing the Office of the Child's Representative talked about barriers for foster children to obtain driver licenses.

01:08:49 PM  

Ms. Madsen provided background information on the issue and discussed the history of the topic before the committee.

01:10:38 PM  

Ms. Shuler discussesd the importance of a car to youth in foster care in traveling to school and the opportunity to work.  She stated that reliable transportation is important, as well as foster children having the same experiences as other children who are not foster children. 

01:15:12 PM  

Ms. Chase continued by indicating that foster children have several options in pursuing a license, including the method that most kids use, with a supportive adult signing the affidavid of liability; with a guardian ad litem or representative from the Department of Human services going to the Division of Motor Vehicles with the child to sign the affidavit if they have the permission of the court and consent of the foster parent; or proof that the child has car insurance.  Ms. Chase stated that she had surveyed guardian ad litems about barriers that foster children have faced in the last two to three years in obtaining a driver license.  She stated that one of the biggest issues is obtaining the correct vital documents, such as birth certificates. Ms. Chase continued by stating that the second concern raised by guardian ad litems pertains to consistency across county departments of human services in terms of requirements for foster children to obtain licenses and that the third issue involves the availability of driver education, in terms of cost or availability of the course in counties. Finally, she stated the cost of insurance and access to a car are other barriers that youth in foster care face in getting a driver license.

01:24:25 PM  

Mr. Quintana noted that several barriers have been lifted as a result of legislation last year and discussed the adminstrative process. He distributed a copy of his presentation (Attachment C).

01:26:34 PM  

Ms. Bradford continued by sharing her county's requirements for foster children wanting to get a license.   She noted that the county does provide funding.

01:28:12 PM  

Ms. Thomerson continued by mentioning that accountability must be balanced with accessibility. She sees two barriers to youth in foster care obtaining licenses: money and liability.  She noted that despite being placed in foster care, kids are in the legal custody of the department and that it might be helpful to have an exemption to liability for counties.

01:33:35 PM  

The committee discussed drivers education requirements.

01:36:41 PM  

The committee discussed driver age and education costs.  Ms. Bradford indicated that approximately 60 youth between the ages of 15 and 18 years may be eligible to apply for a driver licesne. 

01:43:55 PM  

Additional discussion about liability ensued, as well as the number of foster chilren statewide that may be eligible to apply for a license. 

01:57:14 PM  

Ms. Drake discussed trauma and the mastery over a skill set as a way to decrease trauma or to heal.   She stated that it is important for foster kids to have access to all developmental milestones, which does not always occur. The department works on coaching and supporting youth to allow the youth to make mistakes and succeed.

02:06:13 PM  

Ms. Chase indicated that it would be important for the committee to consider legislation that speaks to the availability and funding of driver education for foster youth.  She also stated that the state needs a consistent set of requirements for foster youth to be eligible to apply for a driver license.