A new report finds the number of Iowa teens in foster care has dropped significantly. The Annie E. Casey Foundation report says the number of Iowa foster kids 14 and older fell 40-percent from 2006 to 2021. Samanthya Marlatt, with the non-profit Y-S-S which works with foster care youth, says the report is encouraging, but she’s also concerned about the significant increase in kids who are being removed from their families due to neglect.
She says this is often linked to poverty and families not having access to the resources they need. Marlatt says she’s glad to see the shift away from placing foster care teens in group care settings, and instead, putting them in family-based settings or with other familiar adults.
The report found about 16-hundred — or 22-percent — of Iowa’s foster kids were 14 and older in 2021.