DeSantis signs bill giving additional money to foster parents, expands tuition opportunities for foster children

Governor signed S.B. 703 in Miami Tuesday

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a news conference in Jefferson County on Tuesday, April 5, 2022. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

MIAMI – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Tuesday morning that will provide more money for foster parents and expand tuition opportunities for foster children.

“All these kids deserve an opportunity and we’re going to do what we can to make sure that their dreams and hopes and aspirations can become a reality in a loving home,” DeSantis said.

The bill includes $19 million to improve a monthly stipend for relatives or family friends who step in to foster a child who has been removed from a home. This money will bring the stipend up to the same level as traditional foster parents.

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“When a relative or close family friend steps up and fosters a child, it could be a very positive scenario for that child yet, right now, they do receive some assistance, but we recognize they needed to be at the same level as all other foster parents,” DeSantis said.

Additionally, the bill provides $25 million to provide $200 a month for the foster parents of newborns. The governor said this money is aimed at helping to supplement childcare services for those parents.

“Foster parents have to work to put food on the table like anybody else. This will help them in that regard,” the governor said.

The bill also expands the ability for foster children to receive tuition and fee waivers at state colleges, universities and workforce education programs.

“This bill removes red tape and expands the number of students that are eligible for fee and tuition waivers. So yeah, it’s big,” DeSantis said.

The governor signed the bill during a news conference at Miami Dade College.

Read the bill below:

SB 7034 by Thomas Mates on Scribd