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MU Professor’s Research Helps Bill Pass through Congress

An MU professor’s research was used to help write a bill that is headed to President Obama's desk. 

Clark Peters is a social work professor at MU who says states need to provide more financial support programs to young adults in foster care. The bill is called the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act. It passed the U.S House of Representatives in July and passed the Senate late last night.

Peters’ research was funded by the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities initiative and found that children who age-out of the foster care system are at-risk for homelessness, sex-trafficking, and criminal activity due to lack of programs teaching children how to handle money.

The organization is based out of St. Louis and its mission is to ensure that young people make successful transitions from foster care to adulthood.

Senior associate director for policy Lynn Tiede says the bill has several provisions in it that can help prevent young people from aging out of foster care and help them transition better if they do age out of foster care.

"Our ultimate goal is to change the way child welfare systems and their partners, including communities and other agencies that support these young people, work to support and improve the experience that these young people have and improve their life outcome." Says Tiede.  

       The Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative hopes to expand their Opportunity Passport Program, a financial education and matched savings program. As of right now the initiative works in 18 sites across the country. 

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