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Youth, Advocates Bring Foster Care Awareness to Boise

Youths currently in foster care and those who have aged out meet with Idaho legislators for Foster Care Awareness Day. (Ken Wilcox/Flickr)
Youths currently in foster care and those who have aged out meet with Idaho legislators for Foster Care Awareness Day. (Ken Wilcox/Flickr)
February 6, 2020

BOISE, Idaho -- Advocates are in Boise Thursday for Foster Care Awareness Day.

Folks, including young people and parents, are at the State Capitol to educate lawmakers on the struggles foster children and youth face.

According to the Court Appointed Special Advocates program in Caldwell, children in foster care can struggle in school. More than 40% won't graduate from high school.

Christine Tiddens, co-director of Idaho Voices for Children, says foster programs need the support of many different people.

"We want to make sure that lawmakers specifically understand all the different components that go into the foster care system and all different individuals, families and communities that are impacted by the policy decisions that they're making," she states.

There are more than 1,800 Idaho children in foster care, according to the advocacy group AdoptUSKids.

The Court Appointed Special Advocates program says there were more than 3,300 children in Idaho involved in child protective cases during fiscal year 2017.

Tiddens says there will be a presentation from the Idaho Foster Youth Advisory Board, which is made up of youths who currently are in foster care or recently aged out.

"They bring an invaluable insight into the inner working of the system, what it's like to live with a variety of different types of foster families or kinship families, and then the struggles that can go along with transitioning out of foster care and into becoming an adult," she explains.

Fruitland Republican Sen. Abby Lee will read a proclamation on behalf of Gov. Brad Little at 8 a.m. in the State Capitol.

The day also includes a presentation from Court Appointed Special Advocates on preventing child abuse and neglect and scheduled meetings with legislators.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID