Foster youth’s educational challenges and supports: Perspectives of teachers, foster parents, and former foster youth
Research indicates that children in foster care are more likely than their non-foster care peers to be absent from school, have special education needs, and to experience traumatic life events. In turn, they are also less likely to graduate high school and to attend/graduate from college. The current study, which builds on this literature and was guided by an ecological framework, employed thematic analysis to explore Massachusetts foster youth’s academic challenges and supports through interviews with teachers (n = 19), foster parents (n = 14), former foster youth (n = 12), and three individuals who were both teachers and foster parents. All three groups of participants noted that strained relationships between foster youth and their schools contributed to academic challenges. In addition, foster parents and teachers described challenges within the school/home relationship. Participants offered insights into how foster youth can be supported academically (e.g., support for foster parents navigating special education services, enhancing extracurricular opportunities). Significantly, many of their suggestions are in fact already available, suggesting that increased awareness of and utilization of these resources have the potential to increase positive outcomes for foster youth.
Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Moyer, April M. and Goldberg, Abbie E., "Foster youth’s educational challenges and supports: Perspectives of teachers, foster parents, and former foster youth" (2020). Psychology. 314.