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Post by: Francesca McManus
Francesca McManus, a student staff member of Regent University School of Law’s Center for Global Justice.Hello! My name is Francesca McManus and I am a 1L at Regent University School of Law. I am from Washington where I was working as a Social Worker for Washington Department of Children, Youth and Families before attending law school. My background in Social Work is one of the main reasons why I am extremely excited to be working on the Shared Hope International project this semester with the Center for Global Justice.
Shared Hope International is an organization focused on child sex trafficking issues including prevention, awareness, and providing legislative support. This semester, our team has been tasked to assist in research for their annual ‘report cards’ which are produced by Shared Hope for each state within the United States. Specifically, Shared Hope has asked us to research ‘Raise the Age’ laws which allow transitional youth, usually young adults between the ages of 18 to 24, the ability to remain in Juvenile Court after they reach 18 years of age and eligibility for state protections and services.
I have been researching Washington who appears to have liberal legislative protections for transitional youth for state services and in youth in the foster care system. An 18-year-old may request Extended Foster Care which will allow the individual to remain in the foster care system and receive housing and funding until the individual is 21 years old. Additionally, independent youth housing programs allow at risk youth to apply for state funded housing until the age of 23. Additionally, many other states have statutes which allow transitional youths to remain in Juvenile Court for offenses while committed as a minor.
Services like these mentioned above are critical for transitional aged youth who have been involved in sex trafficking as it gives survivors the ability to feel protected and to rebuild their lives.
I look forward to furthering my research and gain the opportunity to compare and contrast the different approaches states take in protecting transitional youth.
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice student staff member.  The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.