Breakthrough Study Finds Foster Youth Face Significant Academic Hurdles

A new study, Foster Youth Transitions, released by the Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC), in conjunction with the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Social Science Research (CSSR), with funding from the Stuart Foundation, examines the educational outcomes of foster youth in comparison to peers from similar disadvantaged backgrounds. Foster youth often experience instability and are deprived of support vital for the completion of educational milestones, such as high school graduation and college enrollment. Results from the study, a longitudinal survey which tracks the educational outcomes of more than 11,000 California high school students over five school years, show that foster youth are less likely to complete high school, and enroll and persist in postsecondary education compared to closely matched non-foster youth. The study offers recommendations to help foster youth succeed academically. Ongoing, personalized education assessment of students, school quality, and educational supports, such as dual enrollment and financial aid, should be emphasized to improve the educational outcomes for foster youth. This landmark study by IEBC and partners exemplifies the type of crucial research that is essential to transforming the field of social policy using integrated data and innovative collaborations.

For more information:
Foster Youth Transitions IEBC-2013


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