Despite dreams of college, only about half of youth in the child welfare system finish high school on time, and fewer than 10% graduate from college.1 Children typically enter the system with numerous educational deficits as a result of traumatic childhood experiences.2 These educational challenges are often worsened by frequent school changes caused by jumping from placement to placement while in care.3 Juvenile Law Center works to solve the education crisis faced by foster youth by advancing laws and policies that:
In collaboration with partner organizations, Juvenile Law Center engages in vigorous advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels. With our partners, we successfully advocated for school stability protections for youth in care in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, signed into law in December, 2015. Juvenile Law Center has also worked to support federal legislation that would make it easier for current and former foster youth to attend college. We are also seeking legislation in Pennsylvania that would permit students in foster care to remain in the same school and graduate on time, even if their foster care or educational placements change.
We offer technical assistance and trainings for stakeholders in the courts, child welfare, and education systems, with an emphasis on the need for collaboration between all three. With our partners, the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law and Education Law Center-PA, we established the Legal Center for Foster Care and Education, which provides training and technical assistance nationwide and serves as a central clearinghouse for information on foster care and education. The Legal Center offers a searchable database, numerous factsheets, issue briefs and tools. Juvenile Law Center is also a founding member of the National Working Group on Foster Care and Education.
1 Fostering Success in Education: National Factsheet on the Educational Outcomes of Children in Foster Care 6 & n.113-120 (2014), http://fostercareandeducation.org/DesktopModules/Bring2mind/DMX/Download.aspx?EntryId=1937&Command=Core_Download&method=inline&PortalId=0&TabId=12.
2 David Osher, Simon Gonsoulin & Stephanie Lampron, Preface to Peter Leone & Lois Weinberg, Addressing the Unmet Educational Needs of Children and Youth in the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems 1-2 (May 2010) available at http://cjjr.georgetown.edu/pdfs/ed/edpaper2012.pdf.
3 Fostering Success in Education: National Factsheet on the Educational Outcomes of Children in Foster Care 3 & n.14-40 (2014), http://fostercareandeducation.org/DesktopModules/Bring2mind/DMX/Download.aspx?EntryId=1937&Command= Core_Download&method=inline&PortalId=0&TabId=12.
Last updated: 3/7/2016
Youth are more likely to enroll in college if they are permitted to stay in foster care until age 21.
Non-Hispanic white youth in foster care are more likely to graduate from high school than youth of color in care, who are more likely to have a GED. GED holders earn less money and are less likely to attend or graduate from college than youth who receive high school diplomas.
Stephanie Ewert, GED Recipients Have Lower Earnings, are Less Likely to Enter College, Random Samplings: The Official Blog of the U.S. Census Bureau (Feb. 27, 2012).
Children in care are more likely to be suspended or expelled from school.
|One of the most important lessons from our 40 years of experience is that children involved with the justice and foster care systems need zealous legal advocates. Your support for our work is more important now than ever before.||Support|