The California Child Welfare Co-Investment Partnership, a group of state, county, court, and foundation leaders working together to improve the state’s child welfare system, released Understanding Foster Youth Educational Outcomes, analyzing the educational outcomes of California foster children from kindergarten through college. The report highlights familiar educational statistics for foster children including low graduation rates, below average scores and grades, and high rates of grade repetition. It cites the physical and emotional barriers to learning that many foster children have when placed in the child welfare system.
Beyond just listing statistics, however, the report demonstrates the effectiveness of certain services and supports in helping foster children reach their academic potential. For instance, the California Foster Youth Services program, which provides students with mentoring, tutoring, and other services, has been very successful in increasing the percentage of foster youth who complete high school. 71% of youth who participate in the program complete high school, compared to just 49% of foster youth overall. Similar results were found when analyzing the 79 campus support programs for foster youth on college campuses around the state. The report analyzes what types of programs and services work in boosting foster student achievement and provides a helpful set of recommendations for policymakers, school administrators, public agencies, and community partners.