Life is a Highway: Addressing Legal Obstacles to Foster Youth Driving

Seattle Journal for Social Justice, Vol.19, Iss. 1, Article 17, 2020

31 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2021

See all articles by Lucy Johnston-Walsh

Lucy Johnston-Walsh

Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson Law

Date Written: December 31, 2020

Abstract

The simple and relatively mundane act of driving a car, which many of us take for granted, can have a profound impact on many aspects of adulthood. The ability to drive a car can provide a means to pursue education and employment, to earn income, and to ultimately obtain independence. As a young adult, a car is often the first acquired asset, which leads to developing credit history for other major life purchases. Owning a car may also be a significant contributor to a person’s economic wellbeing and future buying power. Yet the simple act of driving a car is too often unobtainable for youth who grow up within the foster care system. The simple steps of obtaining a driver’s license, learning to drive, and purchasing a car can present insurmountable hurdles to foster youth. This article seeks to address the legal obstacles that remain as impediments to foster youth driving, despite recent legislative changes designed to improve foster care experiences for foster youth, and to recommend solutions for overcoming those obstacles.

Keywords: foster youth, driving, foster care

JEL Classification: 13

Suggested Citation

Johnston-Walsh, Lucy, Life is a Highway: Addressing Legal Obstacles to Foster Youth Driving (December 31, 2020). Seattle Journal for Social Justice, Vol.19, Iss. 1, Article 17, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3801706

Lucy Johnston-Walsh (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson Law

150 S College St
Carlisle, PA 17013
United States

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