We are hopeful that the General Assembly will do its part to help reform the oversight of these programs and prevent future tragedies.
Advocates for Children and Youth has been supporting legislation that allows disabled youth to keep the federal benefits that their disability entitles them to receive, rather than the current practice of the state keeping this money.
We think that money is far more valuable as savings for when these young people transition out of the Department of Human Resources’ care at age 21. We are encouraged if Damaud Martin’s tragic death serves as a catalyst for important improvements in the care provided to Maryland’s most vulnerable foster youth.
Melissa Rock, Baltimore
The writer is child welfare director at Advocates for Children and Youth.