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Study: Older Foster Children Fall Behind In Life

A new study reveals what many people working in the foster care system have known for years — older children are falling behind their peers who have not experienced foster care.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation collected data across all 50 states and found older children who’ve been in foster care are on track to face higher levels of joblessness and homelessness as adults. “Older” is defined as 14 and up. And, in Arizona’s foster care system, that includes one in five kids.

Nationally, the study found half of teens 16 and older who exited foster care were emancipated, meaning they had no family or legal guardianship — they were on their own. Services to help young people transition from foster care to adulthood can make all the difference.

To learn more about what’s offered in Arizona, The Show spoke with Kris Jacober. She’s a former foster parent and the executive director of Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation.

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As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.