The groups of students are, on average, poor, non-white, and have disabilities), missing from current research is an understanding of whether poor education outcomes for foster youth are due to maltreatment and foster care placement or known academic at-risk factors. Findings indicate that for youth with a history of foster care placement, the impact associated child maltreatment and foster care placement comprises their ability to function and learn beyond noted education at-risk factors.
Results: Findings indicate even after controlling for the association of noted education at-risk factors, foster youth were significantly less likely to achieve positive outcomes on the majority of education outcomes. Administrative child welfare and education data were merged to investigate education outcomes for youth with a foster care history in grades 8 to 12 in four California counties. Youth with a history of foster care placement were matched closely to general population students on a number of demographic factors. Ethnicity, disability status, and school quality school were a primary at-risk factor for all students.
Background/Current Paper: For youth with a history of foster care placement, the impact associated with challenges within the family environment and removal from home often compromises their ability to function and learn. Specifically, students were matched on gender, ethnicity, English Language Learner (ELL) Status, primary disability, National School Lunch Program (NSLP), district, and a measure of school quality. While past research suggests that characteristics of foster youth and at-risk groups identified in the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind) overlap (Compared to the closely matched group of students, foster youth were 6-26% less likely to achieve proficiency in CST ELA and math and 9-27% less likely to achieve success in English and math courses.
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