Greg and Robin Smith adopted four children, twins Laylah and Lauriana, Leasia and Laurence during a mass adoption ceremony in Judge James Cisell's Hamilton County Probate Court on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. Emily Maxwell | WCPO
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Group pushes to extend OH foster care to age 21

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Child-welfare advocates in Ohio are launching a campaign to get the state to extend foster care to age 21.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that a task force plans to push for the change and get the state to pay part of the tab.

Mark Mecum, executive director of the Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies, says that more than 1,000 young adults "age out" of the system at age 18 with little support.

Mecum says 25 states and the District of Columbia have programs to stretch foster care to age 21. Youths are able to keep services as they work toward independence.

A law allows states to use federal foster-care money for youths up to age 21, but state and local governments have to pay some of the cost.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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