A study came out this week detailing the educational outcomes for foster youth and former foster youth. This insightful body of work is different from prior studies in that it examined foster youth compared to similar at-risk groups. The critical information gleaned is the harsh reality that former foster youth had greater negative outcomes when compared to similar at-risk populations. Thus, they truly are the most vulnerable of youth.
The study was a joint endeavor by two great organizations attempting to collect data to instigate change. the Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC) and the Center for Social Services Research (CSSR) were able to confirm what many advocates and professionals in the field already guessed. Thus, the work is now evident that lies ahead. We must reach youth at a younger age and bolster their academic pursuits and capacities with fresh programs and services. This is not a time to back down in light of the data but a time to forge a new way that attempts to reach foster youth at a much younger age.
The complete study can be found here – http://www.iebcnow.org/IEBCPublicFiles/iebc.public/38/380cf44e-9b61-4dcb-a269-714f2339ef99.pdf
A summary article can be viewed here – http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/5/prweb10746882.htm
The study is another indicator that work in aftercare is vital but work on the educational goals of youth in-care is critical. To stop the trail of unsuccessful educational outcomes we must work now with youth in care. The only way we can change the hunger for education and reverse the multiple moves, schools, poor performance and other related issues is to press the core competencies for foster youth prior to high school. The current system of standardized testing does nothing more for foster youth than to describe their poor position among peers. It is time for focused efforts to engage youth on educational outcomes. Pressure must be placed upon the already taxed educational system to somehow stop the negative trend for foster youth.
Covenant Community Services, Inc. is a California nonprofit serving foster children with hope and love. The services of Covenant reach foster children and former foster youth from birth through adulthood. learn more about Covenant at www.covenantcs.net