This ‘Backpack’ Holds the Key to a Brighter Future for Foster KidsHousing & Homelessness
NationSwell, By Kathleen O’Brien
The life of a foster kid is anything from easy. Between the constant moving and inconsistency in familial relationships, growing up can be difficult. Often overlooked in all this bustle, though, is an important lifeline: their records, from medical to educational. That’s why states and counties across the country are equipping foster kids with a new accessory: an “electronic backpack.”
It’s not an actual bag, rather a digital repository where foster children’s records can be stored in one central location, accessible to all involved in the foster care system. Students’ health records will be the first to be included, and education and juvenile probation records will be gradually phased in, with 2015 as a target completion date. Just this month, Ventura, Calif. became the newest area to announce the adoption of this program. Ventura is well aware of the difficulties of foster children—the city has about 1000 in the area.