Florida is launching a pilot program to help foster children drive.
The state found that only about two percent of foster kids in the state’s care have a driver’s license.
Governor Rick Scott recently signed a bill that sets up a program for eligible foster children. The program will help cover many of the costs associated with getting a drivers license.
Jewel has been in foster care for most of her life, and now she says she has something exciting to look forward to. It’s something she says makes her feel more normal.
“I could go see a movie or do a job and make some money”, says Jewel. She is 15 years old, and can’t wait to get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Now the state of florida has set aside $800,000 for a program that will help foster children like Jewel get their drivers license. The problem for children in the state’s care is they don’t have a “parent” to put them on their car insurance. Nancy Marshall is Jewel’s foster mother and says the new program will take a huge weight off of her shoulders. Marshall says, “she’ll be a good little driver when she starts. She is very cautious”.
The three year program that was approved by Gov. Rick Scott will help pay the costs of driver’s education, auto insurance, and licensing for eligible foster children.
“I know it’s a little less if she takes drivers education and makes good grades, but still, it’s expensive. It’s $200 a month for extra insurance”, says Marshall.
There is another reason why this foster mother wants her daughter to get a drivers license, and it’s all about Jewel learning to become more independent. Marshall says, “she wants to be in the color guard, so that way she can drive herself there and back and she can get a part time job”.