Take 5: to Learn About the "Keys to Independence" and Website

keystoindependence.org website home page

Take 5: to explore the new Keys to Independence website and learn more about how guardian ad litem staff and volunteers can help eligible youth obtain assistance getting a driver's license and insurance!

Obtaining a driver's license is a key part of normalcy for any youth. And for dependency kids, it's really not a luxury for most. How youth get to schools, jobs and other normalcy activities is an important part of the equation in our kids' journey to independence. For many, not only is getting a license an important growth milestone, it can mean the difference in how successful transitioning youth are in working, learning and living as adults. But in the past, many of our youth have faced barriers in achieving these goals.

No transitioning youth should be denied the opportunity to obtain both a license and insurance when they are eligible to do so. But many may need help to achieve those goals. To help remedy that, the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program was privileged to lead the charge with our legislative initiative to make this life milestone a priority. All youth deserve this normalcy opportunity without the imposition of barriers that this new law serves to eliminate. That certainly includes dependent youth where having a license might mean the difference in a successful transition to adulthood. It is important that each of our staff and volunteers who work with youth ages fifteen and up encourage them to explore this important life benefit. There may well be real world solutions that can help youth more readily achieve licensing and obtain insurance.

There is a brand new resource available to youth, caregivers and GAL staff/volunteers who are investigating how to obtain a driver's license or to receive help in financing insurance costs. Community Based Care of Central Florida has been selected as the contractor for this three year pilot and is working hard to get the word out about the benefits available to youth seeking their license and insurance. The pilot project will reimburse youth and caregivers for the costs associated with driver's education, driver's licenses and other costs related to getting a driver's license as well as motor vehicle insurance. We need to be sure that youth and caregivers are aware of these resources!

Be sure to visit the website that has been developed by Community Based Care of Central Florida to provide more information and describe the application process. Make sure this information gets out to all GAL staff and volunteers who work with these youth.

Wouldn't it be great if all transitioning youth had their license and insurance well before their eighteenth birthday? With this information and the resources now available, it is possible!

Let's get rolling!

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