Education and Youth in Foster Care
Education is a crucial asset for employability and a predictor of well-being. Youth who spend time in out-of-home care face similar struggles achieving academic credentials as youth in disadvantaged environments; in many areas, they struggle even more. Many emerging initiatives that focus on youth in foster care attending secondary school are designed around the educational advocate - a liaison between the school staff and care providers. See how states are using specialists to close the academic achievement gap.
Now an elementary school teacher, a young woman shares her struggles before and during her foster care experience and how determination to fulfill her potential helped her accomplish academic goals in the face of adversity.
There are a number of efforts at the national and state levels that aim to increase secondary educational achievement for youth in foster care from federal legislation to community programs. Schools and courts are partnering with child welfare agencies to increase educational stability, data sharing capabilities across agencies, and court involvement. Many States have created specialist positions or use school social workers and liaisons to ensure that young people in care have their academic needs met.
States are currently surveying the second cohort of youth for the National Youth in Transition Database. Better quality data can help inform program and policy initiatives. See how Oregon and Texas are engaging youth to increase NYTD participation.