Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sen. Leah Landrum Taylor Calls Attention to Foster Care Cuts

On Monday, the Arizona Legislature will likely be voting on a $144 million cut to the Department of Economic Services. Already, the department's general fund budget has been cut a total of 31 percent cut over the past 16 months.

Yesterday, Sen. Leah Landrum Taylor held a press conference at the State Capitol alongside several community leaders, including several adults who themselves aged out of the foster care system.

Among the cuts being considered are 1) A 20% reduction for foster families and elimination of monthly allowances for children in the custody of the State and 2) A 10% reduction of stipends to kids aging out of foster care from $795 per month in 2008 to $715 per month in 2009 & 2010.

Sen. Landrum Taylor and Pastor Gary Webb called attention to a new Suitcase Initiative launched for young adults aging out of the system. The suitcases will have information on who to contact in need of emergency, bus tickets, coupons and other information for students to live on their own.

Simultaneously, approximately 100 members of the Foster Care Alumni of America gathered on the House Lawn to have a Thanksgiving lunch. The group cited that only three percent of foster care children graduate from college. Sen. Landrum Taylor stated that we need to do more to help increase that number.

Coverage from yesterday's press conference:

Bill would slash stipend for foster children aging out. 3 TV Coverage:

Proposed cuts to state's foster care program. 12 News Coverage of Sen. Landrum Taylor's Press Conference Friday:

(Photo: Jeanette Tejeda de Gomez/ Arizona Senate)

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