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Foster Youth Success in College

 

OUR NATION FAILS ITS FOSTER YOUTH

 

​Youth who age out of foster care are not well poised to transition into adulthood:

    20% immediately become homeless

    Over 60% are unemployed a year after aging out

    54% are unemployed five years after aging out

    32% (females) and 64% (males) will be incarcerated 

These are unacceptable outcomes for children that society has undertaken to care for.

These kids were victims of child abuse and neglect so severe that our states felt they needed to intervene and stepped in to provide state-led “parental” care. In 2015, there were more than 680,000 abused and neglected children, from infants to those becoming young adults.  They resided in every state, and were from rural and urban environments. While most were Caucasian, they were from varying racial and ethnic backgrounds.

More than 20,000 kids age out of care each year. Despite their traumatic life experiences, 70% of these youth want to attend college. 20% actually attend college, and only 3-8% complete their degree by age 26. This 3-8% figure compares to more than 30% of the general population who complete their degree by age 26. College-based programs that support the needs of foster youth are changing this paradigm in some parts of the country. Programs in Michigan and California, for example, are associated with increased college retention and graduation rates of foster youth.

 

 

THE FOSTER YOUTH SUCCESS IN COLLEGE PROJECT

 

This First Star Institute Project provides the first national picture of college based programs that support foster youth and former foster youth through college. These programs are part of an array of innovative approaches aimed at successfully transitioning foster youth to adulthood. The Project includes a review of the literature, an initial macro survey to 600 public, 4-year colleges, a more detailed follow-up survey to selected college based programs, as well as additional surveys of other participants, colleges and agencies.  The Project's Initial Report is available (above right) and includes a listing of the programs identified through the program.  A map showing the geographic distribution of the programs is below.

 

For more information, contact Project Director, Noy Davis at noy@firststarinsitute.org or First Star Institute President, Lisa Garr at Lisa@firststarinstitute.org. 

 

PLEASE SEND CORRECTIONS/ADDITIONS TO PROGRAMS as we will be updating this information throughout the life of the Project.  Email noy@firststarinstitute.org.  -- Thank you!

Map Showing Colleges with Programs for Foster Youth and Former Foster Youth

 Released May 2018

COLLEGE-BASED PROGRAMS

FOR FOSTER YOUTH:

AN INNOVATIVE TREND  PROVIDING

NEEDED SUPPORT FOR FOSTER CARE ALUMNI IN COLLEGE

†Financial Aid Advising

†Academic Advising

†Single Point of Contact within the College to Advocate and Resolve Issues

†Housing During Breaks

†Mental and Physical Health Service  Access

†Food Pantry Access

†Mentoring

†Tutoring