Foster care is designed to be a temporary service for children with parents who cannot care for them. All too often, however, these children end up spending years of their lives in the foster care system. Without stable homes and loving families to support them, many foster youth struggle to keep up with their peers in academic settings. Across the U.S., youth raised in foster care typically achieve at lower levels academically and are at a higher risk of dropping out of school than their general population peers.
Nationwide, only about half of youth raised in foster care end up finishing high school? And less than 3% graduate from a 4-year college1?
According to the findings of a 2011 study conducted of foster youth in California2:
The findings in California are reflected nationwide where youth in foster care consistently underperform in school compared to their general population peers and are far less likely to complete high school or college. The challenges foster youth and former foster youth face academically are very likely to translate into increased difficulty in finding and holding gainful employment when they enter the workforce.
1Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth Outcomes at Age 26 (2011)
2The Invisible Achievement Gap (2011) https://www.wested.org/wp-content/files_mf/1400283692Invisible_Achievement_Gap_Full_Report.pdf
3Health Care Issues for Children and Adolescents in Foster Care and Kinship Care (2015) http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/136/4/e1131
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