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Program helps teens too old for foster care

Posted at 8:53 AM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-30 13:03:30-04

More than 17,000 children are in Arizona’s foster care system, but some of the most vulnerable young people are the teens about to leave the system.


Every day, two to three young adults age out of the foster care system in Arizona, and a lot of times, they aren't getting the resources they need to continue their education or even find a place to live. That's where Arizona's Children Association comes in.


The program is called Thrive, and it's a two year program that matches teens with a volunteer mentor.


There are 1700 young people across Arizona that could use services like this program, but right now, there are only 11 mentor pairs in the program in Tucson and 23 across the rest of the state.


Arizona’s Children Association is working to help that number grow, but they need mentors to volunteer.


“Most mentor programs stop matching around 16 years of age,” said Carlos Chavez, who matches young adults and volunteers for the Thrive Mentor Program. “These young adults in our program will be transitioning out into adulthood without any natural supports in their lives. So, one of the main goals of our program is to provide that natural support that's not a paid professional like a therapist or DCS case worker just to guide them once they do leave the system.”


Thrive asks volunteers for about 5 hours a month, but the schedule is flexible.


If you’re interested in participating, click HERE or visit Arizona Children’s Association website.