19 year old Martan Gordon is adjusting to life after being in Florida’s foster care system for more than eight years.
“It was basically go to school come home or group home. Wherever I was and that was basically my life,” said Gordon.
Laws had forced kids and their foster care families to get approval from social workers and judges on nearly every decision made creating a feeling of isolation.
“We have bubble wrapped these kids and deprived them of any kind of normalcy when it comes to childhood,” said Sen. Nancy Detert.
Driving a vehicle is one of the things most teenagers look forward to, but earlier Thursday Senator Detert said that only 2% of foster kids are able to obtain a drivers license at the age of 16.
“That was one of the things I couldn’t do, I couldn’t even practice.”
Federal lawmakers listened to Florda’s new “Let Kids Be Kids” bill giving insight on possible changes at the federal level.
“States might examine a law Florida enacted just this year, that is to ensure that foster youth are treated like every other child,” said Rep. Dave Reichert.
Secretary David Wilkins says the strict rules made it difficult for not only kids in the system, but the adults trying to help those children.
“Foster parents are burdened with paper work, court responsibilities, jobs responsibilities all surrounding protecting the child,” said Wilkins.
Now federal officials are looking to Florida to see what changes to make so foster kids everywhere feel some sense of normalcy while living in the system.