A federal moratorium on aging out of the foster care system expired. The moratorium allowed young people to remain in foster care even after turning 21, and it allowed anyone under 26-years-of-age who had “left” foster care since March of 2020 to re-enter the system. We spoke to Kris Jacober, Executive Director of Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation, about the end of the moratorium.
“In the spring, federal government dumped a lot of money in Arizona, about $10.5 million for COVID relief for young men and women in foster care and who had transitioned out of foster care,” Jacober said.
She continued that their Foundation distributed that funding to young men and women in foster care and those who have transitioned out of foster care up to the age of 26.
“On Friday, the opportunity for youth between 21 and 26 years old to access that funding ended. That was part of the federal legislation that would expire on September 30,” Jacober said.
Jacober explained that through the calculation of the amount of young adults who age out of the system a year that span in that age range, theres the potential for at most 7,200 youth that may be affected by this funding expiration.
“If you transition out of foster care with no support, your future is not very statistically bright. And so, many kids who age out of foster care end up homeless, many young women end up pregnant, I mean the cycle just continues for many many kids who age out of foster care,” Jacober said.
She adds that the extension these young men and women were asking from the federal government, “made perfect sense because we certainly did not serve enough kids who really qualify to get the money.”