NCYL in the news Press Releases

Governor Ducey Signs Legislation to take FosterEd Statewide

For Immediate Release

Contact:

Pete Hershberger
Director, FosterEd Arizona
phershberger@youthlaw.org
(520) 724-8397

May 13, 2016

Phoenix, AZ –Governor Doug Ducey signed HB 2665 yesterday, legislation that includes provisions to establish and fund a statewide expansion of FosterEd: Arizona’s Pima County demonstration program. This demonstration program has improved education outcomes for school-age foster children in the county.

According to Representative John Allen, the bill’s sponsor previous child welfare reforms in Arizona did not have an emphasis on education but the difference this time is FosterEd. “The hope for this program is to assign an Education Champion for every student in foster care,” said Allen. “Education is a major aspect of a foster child’s life. Educational success will serve these children well their entire life.”

HB 2665 establishes the Foster Youth Education Success Fund and authorizes a $1,000,000 appropriation in FY 2018 from the General Fund as well as a dollar for dollar match of state funds with philanthropic funds up to $500,000. “The FosterEd Program is a model for public partnerships with philanthropy,” said Governor Ducey. “Here we have proven program with best practices and partner with it to bring the benefits to all who need it.”

FosterEd is an initiative of the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) which uses the framework that all foster youth should have an Education Champion who can support the student’s long-term education success, and an Education Team of engaged adults, including caregivers, teachers, and child welfare caseworkers, who develop and support an individualized education case plan based on the student’s academic strengths and needs.

“The achievement gap for Arizona’s students in foster care requires urgent attention. When we launched the Pima County site, our hope was that the state would eventually take this approach to scale,” said NCYL Executive Director Jesse Hahnel “We are grateful for the Governor’s support and the foresight of those who helped get this project off the ground.”

NCYL launched its Pima County demonstration site in 2014 with local education, child welfare, behavioral health and judicial agencies. Other key supporters included the Arizona Community Foundation, the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, the Helios Education Foundation, the Scripps Howard Foundation, May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust and Paul and Amy Blavin. The project is overseen and supported by child welfare, education and judicial agencies with a shared vision for improving education outcomes for foster youth.

Local partners include Arizona Children’s Association, Casey Family Programs, Children’s Action Alliance, Department of Child Safety Pima Region, Attorney General’s Office Pima Region, Indigenous Strategies, Pima County Juvenile Court, Pima County Community Services, Office of the Pima County School Superintendent, Pima Joint Technological Educational District, Sunnyside Unified School District, Tucson Unified School District and the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona.

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