COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Friday all kids in foster care will continue to be supported by the state after they turn 18 years old, which is normally when they age out of foster care.

During the next three months, more than 200 kids will turn 18 years old. They will be covered by the state until the coronavirus pandemic ends.

“For many of these young people, their future looks uncertain because of COVID-19,” DeWine said. “This program that I’m announcing today will provide them with a safety net during these very difficult times.”

DeWine added this option will also be available for young people in the Bridges program, which is Ohio’s foster care for those up to 21 years old.

“Our young people turning 21 over the next few months can stay in Bridges, which will help them maintain their housing, their jobs and their education,” DeWine said. “These changes that we’re making will ensure no child leaves foster care during this pandemic without a safe place to call home.”

DeWine encouraged county service agencies, juvenile courts and foster care youth to take advantage of this opportunity.

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