Judge by Results, Not Money Spent

Life can be tough for children without relatives to raise them. Though the overwhelming majority of foster parents do what they can, it sometimes isn’t enough.

Children who “age out” of the foster care program in West Virginia, at 18-21 years of age, can have trouble adjusting to independent life. State officials say they want to do more to help young adults in that situation.

Federal funding is available for programs to aid those coming out of the foster care system. West Virginia has not been using it well, according to a published report.

Three years ago, the state returned about $1 million in federal funding for the purpose. Two years ago, $600,000 was returned. Last year the amount was $357,000 and this year, state officials say they are on target to use all the federal aid.

Legislators should monitor whether it is used effectively. Results, not federal money spent, should be the gauge of success.