The Legal Center for Foster Care and Education is pleased to release the latest edition of the Fostering Success in Education: National Factsheet on the Educational Outcomes of Children in Foster Care.

This publication provides a review of data and research, laws, and promising programs impacting the educational success of children in foster care. It consists of four sections that can individually or collectively inform advocates, policymakers, agency leaders, and other key stakeholders. These four sections are:

1) A brief data at a glance summary about the educational outcomes of students in foster care;

2) A summary of select federal policies that support educational stability and success and increased data collection and reporting;

3) A comprehensive review of the studies and research related to the education of students in foster care, with accompanying citations; and

4) An overview of some promising data-supported programs or interventions around the country designed to benefit students in foster care. 

This national factsheet reflects a shift in policy and practice around the country over the past decade. The first edition, released in 2006, included a limited, but consistent, group of research studies, all depicting the poor educational outcomes of students in foster care. The 2006 national factsheet raised awareness about the critical importance of prioritizing education for students in foster care. For more than a decade, through the leadership of the National Working Group on Foster Care and Education (National Working Group), with support from various foundations including Casey Family Programs, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Stuart Foundation, several revised editions of this factsheet have been released, including this 2018 version.

We now have a growing body of research that reflects the educational needs of this group of students, most of which still indicates that students in foster care face significant educational challenges. Fortunately, we also have a growing number of federal and state laws that provide rights and protections for students in foster care, and many promising programs and interventions designed to address a wide range of factors influencing the disparities in education outcomes. With cross-system collaboration and the implementation of improved federal and state policies, we are positioned to build on what is being learned, bring about change, and promote success for all children and youth in foster care. We are grateful to the National Work Group members who have provided information to make this resource a valuable compilation of data, research, and promising interventions. This publication was compiled by the Legal Center for Foster Care and Education, a project of the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, in partnership with the Education Law Center and Juvenile Law Center.

We encourage you to share this resource with your networks.

Sneha Barve

Staff Attorney, Center on Children and the Law American Bar Association

1050 Connecticut Ave.

Suite 400

Washington, DC 20036

 

T:  202.442.3344

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Friends of Children launching program to help young adults out of foster care (Includes video)

WWLP - March 22, 2018

The nationwide program called FOCUS pairs those who have aged out of foster care with adults who provide resources for young men and women entering adulthood.

http://wwlp.com/2018/03/22/friends-of-children-launching-program-to-help-young-adults-out-of-foster-care/

Published in Children's Justice Act

Promoting Permanency for Teens: A 50 State Review of Law and Policy.
Johnson, Anna. Speiglman, Richard. Mauldon, Jane. Grimm, Bill. Perry, Miranda.
National Center for Youth Law.
2018
https://youthlaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Promoting-Permanency-for-Teens.pdf

Promoting Permanency for Teens: A 50 State Review of Law and Policy explores the diversity of state policies and practices for teens in foster care in two potentially competing areas: teens’ need for a permanent connection to a family (either their birth family, or an adoptive or guardian family), and teens’ developmental and practical needs in transitioning to legal adulthood, independence, and self-sufficiency. In the context of these concurrent goals, policies, practices, and programs can serve as incentives or disincentives to pursuing permanency for teens.

The Needs of Foster Children and How to Satisfy Them: A Systematic Review of the Literature.
Steenbakkers, Anne. Van Der Steen, Steffie. Grietens, Hans.
Centre for Special Needs Education and Youth Care.
2018
Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review
21(4)p. 1-12
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5797187/pdf/10567_2017_Article_246.pdf

Abstract:

Family foster care deeply influences the needs of children and how these are satisfied. To increase our knowledge of foster children’s needs and how these are conceptualized, this paper presents a systematic literature review. Sixty-four empirical articles from six databases were reviewed and categorized (inter-rater agreement K = .78) into four categories: medical, belongingness, psychological and self-actualization needs. The results give a complete overview of needs that are specific to foster children, and what can be implemented to satisfy these needs. This study shows psychological needs are studied more often compared to the other categories, which specially relates to much attention for mental health problems. Furthermore, most articles focus on how to satisfy the needs of foster children and provide no definition or concrete conceptualization of needs. Strikingly, many articles focus on children’s problems instead of their needs, and some even use these terms interchangeably. This review illustrates that future research should employ a proper conceptualization of needs, which could also initiate a shift in thinking about needs instead of problems.

Published in Children's Justice Act
NOV 14, 2017
AUTHORS: GARET FRYAR, ELIZABETH JORDAN, KERRY DEVOOGHT
 
The transition from adolescence to adulthood is a time full of excitement, growth, and change. Critical brain development occurs during adolescence and early adulthood, and can be supported by strong and stable connections with family, friends, and community. With these supportive connections, young people can grow into healthy adults. Youth and young adults with foster care experience often miss out on some of the key resources needed during this time, reducing their chances to locate safe and stable housing, find steady and meaningful employment, and build strong and positive relationships with members of their social networks. They are more likely to experience homelessness and involvement with the justice system and less likely to graduate from high school or college.

With support from the Better Housing Coalition and Children’s Home Society of Virginia, Child Trends conducted a national survey of state independent living coordinators (Survey on Services and Supports for Young People Transitioning from Foster Care). Survey findings, collected in 2016, are based on responses by Independent Living Coordinators from 47 of 52 states and territories contacted. They describe the array and availability of services and supports for youth and young adults who have experienced foster care, highlighting state trends and examples of innovation in six major service areas: 1) post-secondary education; 2) employment and career development; 3) financial capability; 4) safe, stable, and affordable housing; 5) health and mental health care; and 6) permanent relationships with supportive adults. Several key findings stand out as particularly critical:

READ THE FULL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE 

Published in Children's Justice Act

This paper reviews factors that impact the likelihood that a permanent placement will be attained for a child in care. It begins with a review of system-level factors that act as barriers to permanency, including problems in recruiting and retaining prospective foster and adoptive families, high caseloads and turnover among child welfare workers, inadequate resources to assist families, and an overcrowded court system. Case-level factors that may inhibit a child’s likelihood of obtaining a permanent home are then reviewed and include a prior removal history, placement stability, initial placement, and reason for removal. Finally, the paper reviews child and family level factors that impact permanency outcomes, including demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, age, race/ ethnicity), physical and mental disabilities, and parental substance use and mental health. Programs and initiatives that have been implemented to support positive permanency outcomes are then highlighted, as well as key federal legislation related to improving permanency outcomes. The need for increased research to identify successful strategies to recruit and retain foster and adoptive families is emphasized. 19 references. 

Link to Report

Title: Achieving Permanency for Children in Care: Barriers and Future Directions. 
Author(s): Madden, Elissa E.;Aguiniga, Donna M. 
Published: 2017 
Available from: Upbring (formerly Lutheran Social Services of the South) 
https://www.upbring.org/ 
8305 Cross Park Drive 
Austin, TX 78754 

This report presents the findings of a study that investigated transformational relationships between youth and social services workers. The research explored how transformational relationships work, the attributes of workers who are particularly good at creating transformational relationships, and the attributes of organizations that successfully promote transformational relationships. Data was collected through more than 80 interviews with youth, workers, and organization leaders in the United States and the United Kingdom. Following an introduction, the first section describes worker behaviors that helped to build transformational relationships, including listening, persistence over time, being “real”, challenging the youth, showing up in crises, and showing love. Challenges identified by youth that were helped through transformational relationships are then discussed and include: stress, the difficulty of experiencing and recognizing emotions, negative self-perception and shame, and powerlessness and lack of agency. Additional sections explain the transformational relationships helped youth see that they matter, imagine a different future, develop an emerging sense of power and agency, and develop a capacity to self-regulate. Key characteristics of effective workers who were able to develop transformational relationships with youth are described, including optimism and emotional maturity, and important similarities of organizations that excelled at creating a context in which transformational relationships flourish are discussed, including having relationships at the heart of practice, meeting critical needs, embedding relationships as one part of a broader practice model, hiring and supervising workers who have the capacity to excel at relating to youth, making substantial efforts to relate to workers in ways that model how they want workers to related to youth, and tracking the status of relationships. The report closes with recommendations to organizational and system leaders. 3 references. 

Published: 2017 
Available from: Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) 
http://www.cssp.org/ 

1575 Eye Street N.W., Suite 500 
Washington, DC 20005 
Printable version (PDF): https://www.cssp.org/pages/body/Transformational-Relationships-for-Youth-Success-Report.pdf

Published in Children's Justice Act

This Adolescent Trauma and Substance Abuse (ATSA) online course was developed to provide training and materials for mental health clinicians, substance abuse treatment providers, parents, caregivers, and youth on the complex intersections between psychological trauma and co-occurring substance abuse and dependency. The course includes an interactive online module on “Understanding Traumatic Stress and Substance Abuse Among Adolescents,” a webinar and lecture presentation featuring expert faculty from the NCTSN, and a four-part Train-the-Trainer video series entitled “Trauma and Co-Occurring Disorders: Understanding and Working with Youth and Their Caregivers.”

You will need to go to the site first and register - then you can go to the course. Link to NCTSN: https://learn.nctsn.org/login/index.php 

2016 National Runaway Safeline Crisis Contacts Support.
National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth (NCFY). Runaway and Homeless Youth Program, Family and Youth Services Bureau. National Runaway Safeline (NRS).
2017
https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/fysb/nrs_crisis_contacts_report_1.pdf

Pathways to Tribal Title IV-E: Tribal Title IV-E Options.
Child Welfare Capacity Building Collaborative.
2017
https://tribalinformationexchange.org/files/products/Pathways_to_Tribal_IV-E.pdf

The Collaborative is a partnership among three centers — the Center for Tribes, Center for States, and Center for Courts. This new structure is designed to help child welfare agencies and courts in states, tribes, and territories to build capacity and improve practice. The Collaborative, consisting of three Centers, delivers services that are innovative, outcome -driven, and informed by the best available data and evidence.

The Children's Bureau provides matching funds to tribal organizations, states, and territories to help them operate every aspect of their child welfare systems — from the prevention of child abuse and neglect to the support of permanent placements through adoption and subsidized guardianship. Title IV-E of the Social Security Act provides funds for tribes and states to provide foster care, transitional independent living programs for children, guardianship assistance, and adoption assistance for children with special needs. Pathways to Tribal Title IV-E is provided for informational purposes and to assist tribes in determining if applying for direct Title IV-E funding or pursuing a Tribal -State Agreement might be an option for their tribe. Of course, all Tribal Nations are unique and possess their own customs, traditions and the way they work on a day-to-day basis. It is important for tribes to understand Title IV-E requirements when considering direct Title IV-E funding or a Tribal-State Agreement which are detailed in the federal Title IV-E statute, regulations and official Children’s Bureau policy.
 
In this document you will find the following information:
•Authority for Tribal/State Agreements and Direct Funding
•Direct Title IV-E Program
•Overview and Requirements for Accessing Title IV-E Funding
•Scope of the Title IV-E Program
•Resources to Assist Tribes
 
 
 
 
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