July 13, 2024 8:48 am
Close this search box.

Local News

Report: Older Foster Youths Lean Toward Higher Ed

Credit: iStock

Farah Siddiqi

Children who stay in foster care beyond age 18 are likely to pursue higher education, according to the Fostering in Youth Transitions 2023 report by the Annie E Casey Foundation.

Georgia foster-care agencies agree that with a whole-child approach, the children go on to pursue higher education and careers – and become successful adults.

Sandy Corbin – chief program officer at the Multi-Agency Alliance for Children – said youths who stay through adulthood get more benefits and resources than those who leave.

“Yes, we have tons of young people in college who have graduated from college,” said Corbin. “Again, the empowerment initiative is where you see the young people in care, but there’s also adult supporters who are alumni of care. We have some amazing success stories of some people who did not have an easy way to go, but with the right support and the right connections have made great strides in the world.”

About 38% of Georgia’s foster youths ages 16 and older exited foster care in 2021 without permanent, legal connections to family or caregivers.

The foundation’s report found them exposed to risks including homelessness and economic instability.

Some of the major increases to success in youth fostering are seen through changes in data over how children enter foster care.

Children used to enter foster care for behavioral reasons, but those numbers have fallen and now neglect has taken the top spot.

Federal eligibility has expanded dramatically but federal funding has not kept pace. Todd Lloyd, senior policy associate with the Casey Foundation, explained.

“There are less group homes being used for teenagers in foster care and an increase in family-based settings,” said Lloyd. “And particular relatives or kinship foster settings have been on the increase in recent years.”

Twenty-four percent of Georgia’s foster care population was age 14 and older in 2021, down from 27% in 2006.

Disclosure: Annie E Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children’s Issues, Education, Juvenile Justice, Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

This story was written by Farah Siddiqi, a producer at Public News Service, where this story first appeared.

Georgia Supreme Court justices appear skeptical of Athens DA’s claim of open records exemption

In an upcoming ruling, Georgia’s Supreme Court will weigh in on a claim brought by Athens-Clarke District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez, arguing that top prosecutors are exempt from the state’s open records laws. The case involves assertions that the trial court overlooked a constitutional provision in denying Gonzalez’s motion to dismiss an open records complaint, mirroring similar immunity arguments made by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in a separate case related to the 2020 presidential election interference.

Georgia public colleges to expand admissions testing requirements for fall 2026

Georgia colleges are reverting to requiring standardized test scores for all new applicants, signaling a shift from pandemic-era policies. Beginning in fall 2026, institutions including Augusta University, The University of Georgia, and Georgia Tech will mandate SAT or ACT scores, a decision unanimously approved by the Georgia Board of Regents.

Water-hogging data centers flagged in latest ‘Dirty Dozen’ environmental watchdog report

In its annual report released on Thursday, the Georgia Water Coalition spotlighted the detrimental effects of record economic growth on the state’s waterways, particularly in the coastal region, where a surge in state-of-the-art data centers poses a significant threat to Georgia’s rivers. The report urges urgent action from public officials and residents to advocate for policies that safeguard natural resources crucial for clean drinking water and outdoor recreation, emphasizing the need for coordinated water planning to address mounting environmental pressures.