Bobby Cagle

ATLANTA – The nonprofit health-care organization CareSource is donating $1 million to a program that helps young people aging out of Georgia’s foster care system.

The General Assembly passed legislation unanimously in 2022 creating a tax credit to help fund wraparound services aimed at removing barriers to education for youths leaving foster care. The list of services includes tuition assistance at technical schools or state colleges, food, medical care, rental assistance, and money for transportation.

Under the Fostering Success Act, individual taxpayers can receive dollar-for-dollar state income tax credits for up to $2,500 per year contributed to a qualified foster support organization, while married couples filing jointly can receive up to $5,000. Corporate donations are limited to 10% of the company’s annual tax liability. The program raised nearly $10 million during its first year.

“By providing young people with the resources they need to become independent and educated, we help to create paths to healthier futures and strengthen their communities by decreasing the risk of homelessness, poverty, and incarceration,” said Bobby Cagle, executive director of CareSource Georgia and former commissioner of the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

Georgia currently has more than 11,000 children in foster care, and about 700 age out of the system each year. Research shows that more than 30% of those young people will experience homelessness, 70% will be forced to rely on welfare programs, and almost 90% of boys will spend time in jail.

“Many young adults who age out of the foster care system have no support network and often little hope for the future,” said Heidi Carr, executive director of Fostering Success Act Inc., which helps administer the tax credit program. “We empower these young people to pursue their dreams by connecting them to resources and organizations that can offer support.”

The $1 million contribution from CareSource Georgia follows a $5 million donation the organization announced last month to help financially struggling rural hospitals.

CareSource Georgia operates a managed-care health plan that serves more than 450,000 Georgians.