(The Center Square) – A bill that would provide funding for Mississippi foster children to pursue a college education is now law, Gov. Tate Reeves said.
Reeves announced early Wednesday that Mississippi is expanding its Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s primary program and he has signed House Bill 1313, which provides $1 million for foster children to attend postsecondary education.
“There are still too many Mississippi kids who need a loving family and a forever home, especially older teens who remain in foster care. We’ll continue to do everything we can to support children in foster care, find them loving homes, and give them the opportunity to succeed,” Reeves said in the release. “We have a responsibility to ensure those children growing up in foster care have the opportunity to turn their struggles into strengths.”
By expanding Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, according to the release, a precedent on finding adoptive homes for foster children in the state’s system will be a priority.
With the signing of HB1313, the state will create the “State Representative Bill Kinkade Fostering Access and Inspiring True Hope (or Faith) Scholarship Program," according to the release.
The state will also receive, according to the release, $1.7 million from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption that will be used for training and support to the Department of Child Protection Services in a public-private partnership designed to fund 10 experienced adoption professionals. The professionals will serve children and youth, including teenagers, special needs children, and siblings at risk of aging out of foster care.
The foundation, according to the release, has found homes for more than 12,000 children across the country and 125 youth in Mississippi.