Title Layout - Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative

Dreams to Degrees
Helping Foster Youth Succeed in Higher Education
Yali Lincroft , Program Officer, Walter S. Johnson Foundation
(MODERATOR) [email protected]
Alexia Everett, Senior Program Officer, Stuart Foundation
[email protected]
Eileen McCaffrey, Foster Care to Success,
[email protected]
Celeste Bodner, FosterClub, [email protected]
George White, Youth Advocate
Today’s outline
• Overview: Why this work? Why foster youth?
• State & Federal policy change, and how young
people have been engaged in efforts
• Role of youth engagement on institutional &
practice change
• One-to-one: engagement of individual foster
Why this work?
Why foster youth?
The case for focusing efforts on the 400,000
young people in foster care, and the 30,000
youth who will age out this year
From Mark Courtney’s Midwest Study (2011)
• By age 26, 1 in 5 foster youth compared to 1 in 20 youth in general
population have not completed high school or obtained a GED
• Foster youth are 6x less likely to complete a two-or four-year college
degree compared to their non-foster care peers.
• By age 26, of the students enrolled in a two- or four-year college,
55% reported ever having dropped out of school.
• When asked for explanation for leaving school, several themes
emerged (need to work/ can’t afford tuition and fees, pregnancy,
coursework problems, family emergencies)
From California’s Invisible Achievement Report (2014)
• In California, 43,140 students in grades K-12 and
between 5-17 were in foster care during all or part
of the 2009/10 school year.
• Links data from the California Department of
Education and the California Department of Social
• Offers the first statewide comprehensive
educational snap-shot.
Key Findings
1. Students in every type of foster care placement experienced an
achievement gap compared to their peers in school.
2. Students in foster care were more likely than other students to
change schools during the school year.
3. Students in foster care are more likely than the general student
population to be enrolled in the lowest performing schools and
more likely to be enrolled in nontraditional schools.
4. Students in foster care had the lowest participation in
California’s statewide testing programs and participation was
tied to placement instability.
Key Findings
5. Statewide testing documented that the achievement gap for
students in foster care was greatest in upper grade levels and for
students who experienced 3 or more foster care placement.
6. Among all high school students, those in foster care had the highest
dropout and lower graduation rates.
State & Federal
Policy Changes
… and how young people have
been involved in these efforts
Federal Policies
• Chafee Education & Training Voucher (ETV) Program - 2001
• College Cost Reduction Act - 2007
• Higher Education Act (HEA) – 2008
Education and Training Voucher (ETV) Administration
• Different models for ETV Program
• State administered
• State Higher Education Agency
• Foster Care to Success
• Local Agency
• ETV funding is fully expended by states.
• ETV funding is tied to earning a credential.
• Time-limited financial aid MUST be
accompanied by student support services.
Federal Policies
• Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions
Act - 2008
• Uninterrupted Scholars Act (USA/FERPA amendment) - 2013
State and Local Advocacy
North Carolina
Maryland - http://www.acy.org/
New York
August 5, 2014
State and Local Advocacy
• www.calyouthconn.org
Foster Youth in Action
6 states organizing for
States Providing Tuition Waivers
Lessons learned in engaging foster
youth in practice and program
implementation and reform
WHY ENGAGE? Benefits to young leaders
•Youth gain through giving back:
•Positive peer support
•Transferrable skills developed
August 5, 2014
Programs & Services
Education & Training for Staff
Data Collection (State, Campus, and Student)
Summary & More
What We Know:
College preparation is essential.
•Address academic deficits in elementary and secondary schools.
•High school counts – enroll in college prep programs.
Nonacademic factors can derail a student’s academic career.
• Family re-engagement and caretaking; Lack of affordable housing; Transportation;
Parenting; and Poor money management skills.
There are multiple pathways to success.
• Identify options based on strengths, talents and aptitudes.
Effective programs blend financial resources with academic & interpersonal supports.
• Students need more than money to be successful in postsecondary programs.
• Help them get involved on campus and connected to resources.
August 5, 2014
For More information
• FosterClub – https://www.fosterclub.com
• FosterU – new website from Foster Care to Success http://www.fc2success.org/
• California College Pathways – website and newsletter

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