FosterEd Program to Expand Statewide

On May 13th, Governor Doug Ducey signed a legislative bill that included provisions to establish and fund the statewide expansion of FosterEd, an initiative of the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL).  Pima County was the third FosterEd program in the country and, over the past two years, has improved educational outcomes for school-age children in foster care by pairing them with a volunteer Educational Champion who supports the student’s long-term education success.  Representative John Allen, the bill’s sponsor, said “Education is a major aspect of a foster child’s life. Educational success will serve these children well their entire lives.”

The bill 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 achievement gap for Arizona’s students in foster care requires urgent attention. When we launched the Pima County pilot, 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.”

The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona has been pleased to be a local partner with NCYL since the inception of the FosterEd pilot and grateful to the donors who stepped up to fund this important phase. “If it weren’t for the five individuals who understood the importance of this initiative, we wouldn’t be able to celebrate this victory today,“ said CFSA’s VP of Program Services and Community Initiatives, Barbara Brown. “Pete Hershberger, Director of FosterEd Arizona, assembled an amazing advisory board, an outstanding staff and worked tirelessly for this outcome.  It has been a joy to work with him on this project.”