By Jeremy Loudenback, Fostering Media Connections
Foster youth can face a myriad of educational barriers, challenges and hurdles during their elementary, middle, high school and college years on their path to higher education and a career. As a result, they need stability in home and school life, peer relationships and family as well as mentors to keep them motivated and on track.
- 70% report to high school counselors they have plans to go to college.
- Up to 71% in either kinship or guardianship care are most likely to graduate while 35% in group homes are least likely to graduate.
- 65% change schools 7 or more times in K-12.
- 58% graduate high school, while 3% graduate college.
What factors or challenges can dramatically impact a foster youth's overall experience and success in the foster care system?
How have foster youth been performing in the educational system in Southern California over the last several years?
What is the achievement gap? How does it have an impact on foster youth?
What are some learning challenges foster youth face in school?
What are educational outcomes of foster youth vs. non-foster youth?
How do foster youth qualify for special education services?
Why do foster youth face a higher rate of school suspensions and expulsions than non-foster youth?
What are some challenges foster youth face while transitioning from foster care into independent living or college?
What educational services and resources are available for students who are foster youth?
What is California doing to improve educational outcomes for foster youth?
Can bureaucracy within the education system hold foster students back from succeeding?
What policies and programs has California implemented over the past to address the educational barriers faced by foster youth?
A Personal Perspective on Education:
Keeping up in school is no easy task for youth in foster care, but for Lonnell, he kept pursuing his dream of going to UCLA. Lonnell is among the 3% of foster youth to graduate from college. “Sometimes you want to be different; you want to be noticed. But for me, I always wanted to be normal. Most of my life, I wanted to be like everybody else.”Read Lonnell’s story