Arizona sees decline in foster children despite high number

YUMA, Ariz. – The state of Arizona now has fewer foster children in its system.

There are currently 430,000 children in Arizona’s foster care system. That may seem like a lot, but it is actually the lowest number the state has seen since 2012.

“There’s definitely a decrease,” says Cori Rico with Arizona’s Children Association. “The state of Arizona has looked at implementing different strategies to keep children in their family setting; their needs are a lot different from those coming into the system 10 years ago.”

It’s taken the foster care system a decade to improve the services provided and better understand the children it serves.

In the past, children moved from foster home to foster home in hopes of finding a good fit. Recent changes to the system address that instability.

“12 or 15 years ago we saw a lot of movement with children,” said Rico. “A child would come in and if something happened and was moved there was a lot of disruption even in care.”

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