Foster Youth and Post-Secondary Education

Accelerating Success: Turning Insights into Action for Foster Youth at California Community Colleges (2017)
This report draws on a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis to highlight pathways and predictors of foster youth success. The report identifies a combination of institutional practices and targeted program supports in colleges that had positive educational outcomes for foster youth.

Stepping Up for Foster Youth: A Policy Playbook for California’s Four-Year Universities  (2017)
The publication highlights steps that Cal State University and University of California campuses can take to enhance support for foster youth enrolled at these institutions. The report includes a summary of recommended policies followed by a detailed explanation of each issue area, within which are “spotlights” on examples of successful local policy initiatives that can serve as models for individual universities to replicate.

Memo from CalYOUTH: Predictors of High School Completion and College Entry at Ages 19/20 (2017)
This memo from the CalYouth Study, examines data on youth participating in extended foster care in California to determine educational outcomes and predictors of high school completion and college entry.

Transitional Age Foster Youth: Getting Them Into and Through College (2016)
This report examines the factors that both hinder and/or support the enrollment and retention in college of foster youth in California’s Central Valley to contribute to understanding effective programs and services for transitional age foster youth, particularly in the context of the California Central Valley.

Characteristics and Experiences of Former Foster Youth in Postsecondary Education (2016)
This policy brief from the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE) uses data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) to comprehensively examine disparities between foster youth and non-foster youth in postsecondary education.

Findings from the California Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study (age 19) (2016)
Part of the CalYOUTH study research, this report provides an evaluation of the impact of the California Fostering Connections to Success Act on outcomes during the transition to adulthood for foster youth.

Charting the Course: Using Data to Support Foster Youth College Success  (2015)
This landmark report offers new insights into the educational experiences of foster youth attending a subset of community colleges and universities in California. Click here  for a one-page overview of the report.  Click here for a one-page overview summarizing the key findings and policy and practice implications.

Youth and Caseworker Perspectives on Older Adolescents in California Foster Care: Youths’ Education Status and Services (2015)
This report from Chapin Hall is part of the CalYouth Study and draws on data from a survey of caseworkers and the baseline interview of a longitudinal study of adolescents transitioning out of foster care. The report examines the educational status of and services available to older adolescents in foster care in California, both from the viewpoint of the young people themselves and from the viewpoint of caseworkers who work with foster youth. 

AT GREATER RISK California Foster Youth and the Path from High School to College (2013)
This report presents groundbreaking analyses of education and child welfare data on high school-aged foster youth in California.

Foster Youth Transitions: A study of California foster youth high school and college educational outcomes (2013)
A study of high school and college outcomes among California foster youth.

An analysis of foster care placement history and post-secondary graduation rates (2013)
This study compares the four-year college graduation rate of students who had been in foster care to the graduation rate of first generation, low-income students at the same university.

Turning Dreams into Degrees: Past, Present and Future of California College Pathways (2012)
This report features perspectives of youth and leaders from across the state, chronicles the success of the work across all higher education sectors in California to support foster youth scholars, and highlights some of the new elements of the Initiative to come.

Annual Report: Campus Support Programs for Former Foster Youth in California (2008)
This report provides an overview of California College Pathways and highlights campus support programs’ efforts to increase access to higher education for California’s former foster youth.

Policy Evaluations

No Time to Lose: A Policy Agenda to Support College Success for Foster Youth (2015)
This document from the John Burton Advocates for Youth outlines a comprehensive set of policy recommendations to ensure that foster youth in California enroll, persist and ultimately succeed in college or career and technical education programs.

AB 194 in Action A Review of Implementation of Priority Registration for Foster Youth at California’s Public PostSecondary Institutions (2014)
John Burton Advocates for Youth surveyed college and university campuses to determine how priority enrollment for foster youth was proceeding. This report provides the results and recommendations for improving implementation.

Creating Campus Support Programs

Fostering Success: Building a Support Program for Students in Foster Care (2009)
This research brief produced by the Education Advisory Board provides findings from a review of several foster youth support programs at universities across the country and makes recommendations for creating effective programs.

Serving Foster Youth in California Community Colleges (2008)
This report addresses the common challenges in serving former foster youth and how community colleges can respond to the needs of foster youth. It also provides examples on successful approaches, key findings and policy and practice recommendations.

Helping FFY Graduate from College in California and Washington (2009)
This report presents the results of a comprehensive study of campus support programs for foster youth to better understand how they are implemented and their impact.

Supporting Success: Improving Higher Education Outcomes for Students from Foster Care (2010)
This report, now in its second edition, offers detailed information on the core elements necessary for the development of a successful campus support program and is written for college counselors, student support services programs and TRIO programs. 

General Practice Recommendations

1 Laptop Program for Foster Youth Evaluation Report (2016)
This report summarizes a series of studies to assess access levels to computers at home, and evaluate the impact that having access to a computer at home has on 3 key measures: academic performance, social connectiveness, and life satisfaction.

Partnerships for Success: Case Studies in Successful Collaboration Between Child Welfare and Higher Education (2013)
This report highlights six communities that have established collaborative bodies whose function includes supporting foster youth to enroll in college and complete their higher education goals.

2013 National Convening on Foster Youth and Higher Education (2014)
In October 2013, California hosted the first National Convening on Foster Youth and Higher Education, which was attended by more than 100 professionals from 15 states. This document, created by Foster Care to Success, provides a detailed overview of the proceedings from this event.

Outline to Improve the Postsecondary Educational Outcomes of Students from Foster Care (2014)
This document, released as a companion piece to the 2013 national convening proceedings, offers a set of recommendations to improve the post-secondary outcomes of students from foster care.

Youth and Credit: Protecting the Credit of Youth in Foster Care (2013)
This guide provides advice on the best way for caseworkers and other adults to comply with the new federal law requiring child welfare agencies to request an annual credit report for youth in foster care starting at age 16—and to help young people resolve any issues that come up in those credit report checks.

Hopes and Hurdles (2009)
This report examines why former foster youth in California are not receiving the aid they are likely eligible for, from inadequate or poorly targeted information about college costs and financial aid to structural obstacles within the aid process and programs.

Foster Youth and K-12

The Invisible Achievement Gap (2013)
This report illustrates the impact of foster care on students’ educational success and breaks new ground on this important issue. The report links official state-level student education and child welfare data, creating California’s first-ever education snapshot of all K-12 students in foster care. 

The Invisible Achievement Gap Part 2 (2014)
This second report in a series on foster youth and education illustrates the impact of foster care on students’ educational success and breaks new ground on this important issue. The report links official state-level student education and child welfare data, creating California’s first-ever education snapshot of all K-12 students in foster care.

Fostering Success in Education: National Factsheet on the Educational Outcomes of Children in Foster Care (2014)
This report provides a quick overview of statistics related to foster youth educational attainment and recommendations for policy solutions.

First Look: Foster Youth Education Outcomes in Four California Counties (2011)
This first-of-its-kind pilot project studies how students with a history of foster care placement are faring in California’s education system in comparison to closely matched at-risk student populations and the general student population.