Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, received unanimous support Tuesday for Senate Bill 546, which extends the state’s iFoster Pilot Program. The program currently provides California’s foster youth with smartphones and free voice, text and data.
“The data on foster youth is disheartening,” Wilk said in a prepared statement. “Foster youth are half as likely to graduate high school, and only 4% graduate from college. Having access to a phone helps foster youth navigate the system, which can be the difference between success and failure.”
SB 546 provides foster youth between the ages of 13 and 26 with continued access to the benefits of the iFoster Pilot Program, such as smartphones and cell services. With the program set to expire in mere months, this bill is intended to protect the lifeline so many foster youth rely on to stay connected, find work and/or attend school, Wilk’s statement said.
SB 546’s next stop is the Assembly Rules Committee, where it will be assigned to a policy committee for hearing.