Why Foster Youth

For many foster youth, entering foster care means changing homes and schools. Youth are routinely out of school for weeks at a time when they change schools, sometimes their credits are not transferred to the new school, and starting a new school is a major adjustment- socially and academically. While in foster care, about seventy percent of youth have three or more placements. These disruptions in education correlate with poor educational outcomes. In Butte County, foster youth are the lowest performing students, even when compared to other low-socioeconomic status students, English language learners, and students with disabilities. Sadly, less than half (45 percent) of foster youth graduate high school.

Those youth who make it to college are less likely to succeed. About forty percent of foster youth, compared with sixty percent of the general population, enroll in a second year of community college. While 80% of foster youth say they want to attend college, less than 10% earn a college degree of any kind (Harris et al., 2009). The number of foster youth graduating from college remains low, even when compared with other disadvantaged groups. Foster Youth who participate in campus foster youth support programs are more likely to stay in school and obtain a degree (College Pathways, 2013).