Removing Barriers to Driving for Youth in Foster Care

Yesterday the Judiciary Committee of the Nebraska Legislature heard testimony on a bill that would remove barriers that stand in the way of young people in foster care learning to drive and getting their driver’s license. Learning how to drive and obtaining a driver’s license are not only exciting achievements but also necessities for young people as the pursue their goals related to work and school. Too often young people age out of foster care without a driver’s license.

LB 219, introduced by Senator Anna Wishart, implements recommendations from young people and best practices to:

  • Make sure a youth in foster care isn’t treated any differently because they are a foster youth, when learning to drive and getting a driver’s license.
  • Ensure foster parents can play a supportive role as a young people learn to drive by providing liability protection in the case of any harm related to driving.
  • Requires caseworkers to provide needed documentation and information to obtain a driver’s license, at age 14 through transition planning as they prepare to age out of foster care.

In a letter stating her support for this bill, Briana shared her experience having to fight for the opportunity to learn to drive and get her license, which didn’t happen until after she aged out of foster care. Briana said, “I felt cheated out of an experience needed to live a very successful adult life. It may seem small, but I’ve had to pass up amazing job opportunities because I can’t drive…This bill would help so many youth in foster care get this necessary skill and experience needed for a better future.”

Nebraska Appleseed, as well as two supportive advocates who work with youth in foster care and those who have aged, testified to the need for LB 219.

If you want to take action on this bill – reach out to the senators of the Judiciary Committee and let them you know you support LB 219 and young adults as they transition from foster care to independence!

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