Children whose trauma history has created obstacles which hinder their achievement within a school setting. are a unique population of students with needs that cannot be ignored. They face tremendous obstacles on their path to adulthood and we aim to successfully help them to overcome the grim statistics they currently face such as:
*Academically, studies have indicated that foster children perform below grade level, score lower than their peers on standardized tests, and are more likely to fail a course and repeat a grade. Behaviorally, foster children have higher suspension and expulsion rates than their peers, and often need frequent redirection from their teachers and socially, studies have indicated that foster children have difficulty engaging and interacting with their classmates. Because of these difficulties, foster children are often stereotyped as troublemakers or failures in the academic arena.
*Suspension and expulsion hinder the educational process. It is reported 24% of children and youth in foster care had either been suspended or expelled from school; the national average for all children is 7%.While the student is removed from the classroom, suspension and expulsion do not address the underlying issues that caused the negative behavior that began the removal process. It is clear that foster youth bring emotional and behavioral challenges into a classroom and that the educational system may not be adequately prepared to meet those unique needs. Foster children need specific and individualized programs designed to address their challenges. Suspensions are a predictor of student outcomes, which include crime, delinquency, and drug use.
Our national statistics show:
*Foster children are diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at six times the general population and double the rate of veterans returning from war.
*Students in foster care move schools at least once or twice a year. Children are estimated to lose four to six months of academic progress per move, which puts most foster care children years behind their peers. School transfers also decrease the chances a foster care student will ever graduate from high school.
*65% of children in foster care experience seven or more school changes from elementary to high school
*It is estimated that up to 80 percent of the over 400,000 children in foster care in America suffer from a mental health issue compared to 18-22 percent of the general population of children.
*Girls in foster care are 600 percent more likely than the general population to become pregnant before the age of 21.
Incarcerated within 2 years of “Age Out” 50%
Former Foster Kids in U.S. Prison 74%
Former Foster Youth on Death Row 80%
Number of Foster Kids that graduate high school 33%
Number of Foster Kids that graduate from College 3%
*Sixty-six percent of youth will be homeless, go to jail or die within two years of leaving the foster care system at 18.While these statistics are disheartening, there are things we can do as a community to help kids heal.
*Youth emancipating from foster care typically face many obstacles during their educational journeys, obstacles that can hinder their ability to graduate on time or receive a high school diploma. Prior to child welfare involvement, youth may have missed many days or even months of school due to residential movement by the biological family because of eviction, homelessness, or other issues. While in foster care, despite federal protections to ensure school stability, they may have had multiple placements that resulted in multiple school changes. Research has shown that students in foster care score 16 to 20 percentile points below their peers in state standardized testing and that fewer than 60 percent graduate from high school. Only three percent of children who have been in foster care go on to postsecondary education