Power to Soar Foundation | The Cause
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Why Education Matters to Children and Youth in Foster Care

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Nearly 400,000 US children and youth are in foster care.

 

  • Only 50% of the youth graduate from High School and out which on 20% attend college. Of the foster youth that attend college only 2-9% attain Bachelor’s degree.

 

  • 84% foster youth (age 17-18) want to go to college but majority are not able to attend.

How do we change these numbers?

Power to Soar Foundation (PSF) will further motivate the motivated foster youth by providing them educational grants and other support to successfully complete college and transition to a productive job.

 

When supported by strong practices and policies, positive school experiences can counteract the negative effects of abuse, neglect, separation, and lack of permanency experienced by U.S. children and youth in foster care. Education provides opportunities for improved well-being in physical, intellectual, and social domains during critical developmental periods and supports economic success in adult life. A concerted effort by child welfare agencies, education agencies, and the courts could lead to significant progress in changing the consistent and disheartening picture about educational outcomes for children in foster care the research portrays. With cross-system collaboration, we are positioned to build on what is being learned, bring about change, and promote success for all children and youth in foster care.

Fast facts from national and multi-state studies*

    • Number of children and youth in foster care on September 30, 2012:

      399,546

 

    • Average number of living arrangements during first foster care stay:

      2.8

 

    • Number of foster children of school age:

      249,107

 

    • Likelihood of being absent from school:

      2x that of other students

 

    • Percent of foster youth who change schools when first entering care:

      56%-75%

 

    • Percent of 17-18 year olds in care who have experienced 5+ school changes:

      34%

 

    • Likelihood of 17-18 year old foster youth having an out-of-school suspension:

      2x that of other students

 

    • Likelihood of 17-18 year old foster youth being expelled:

      3x that of other students

 

    • Average reading level of 17-18 year olds in foster care:

      7th grade

 

    • Likelihood of foster youth receiving special education:

      2.5-3.5x that of others

 

    • Percent of foster youth who complete high school by 18:

      50%

    • Percent of 17-18 year old foster youth who want to go to college:

      84%

 

    • Percent of foster youth who graduated from high school who attend college:

      20%

 

    • Percent of former foster youth who attain a bachelor’s degree:

      2-9%