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Post Secondary Success for Foster Care Youth/Alumni



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  • Forming Collaborative Partnerships: National = higher education consortium, DOE/OPE data collection and reporting State = DSHS/CA/DHS & higher education collaborations & advocates (7 states) = systems improvements CONVENINGS Institutional = housing during breaks, counseling visits extension (SU), meals cards/Culinary Arts program Expanding Financial Aid Options: ETV = OFA Pell State Need Grants Waivers Scholarships (public & private) Issue = packaging and loan Informing Federal & State Policy FED Fostering Connections to Success & Increasing Adoptions Act College Cost Reductions Act HEOA (reauthorized) = appendix A pg. 65 Chafee ETV STATE (LEGISLATIVE CHAMPIONS!) Tuition waivers Medicaid extension Foster care til age 21 Data sharing/ student verification of FC status = WA
  • Foster Care Independence Act of 1999: Provides for flexible funding for distribution to States through grants for program services for youth. Provides opportunities for States to serve youth who are likely to remain in foster care and those who have aged out of foster care up to 21 years of age. Enables youth to make better choices and accept greater responsibility for their own lives. Enables older youth (18-21) to receive housing assistance if needed. Provides States the option of allowing these young people to remain eligible for Medicaid up to age 21 (TX Senate Bill 6 – 2005).
  • Fostering Connections (2008) requires as part of the case review system that at least 90 days before a youth is discharged from care at age 18 or older, a transition plan is developed with the youth. The plan must include the youth’s educational plans and status and should include information about the supports and services that may be needed to achieve those goals. College Cost Reduction Act (2008) This provision significantly increases the number of former and current youth in care who may fall into this category. If a youth is considered “ independent,” only the youth’s income, not that of a parent or guardian, is considered in determining eligibility for financial aid.
  • HEOA - The law now requires that “the Secretary shall, as appropriate, require each applicant for funds under the [TRIO] program… to identify and make available services under such program, including mentoring , tutoring , and other services provided by such program , to foster care youth (including youth in care and youth who have left care after reaching age 13) ..”. FIPSE = (12) the provision of support and assistance for demonstration projects to provide comprehensive support services to ensure that homeless students, or students who were in foster care or were a ward of the court at any time before the age of 13 , enroll and succeed in postsecondary education, including providing housing to such students during periods when housing at the institution of higher education is closed or generally unavailable to other students; Furthermore, the law makes homeless children and youth, or youth in foster care (including youth who have left foster care after reaching age 13), automatically eligible for all TRIO programs . Finally, and importantly, the law also makes clear that Student Support Services funds can be used for “ securing temporary housing during breaks in the academic year.
  • Spreading Support Approaches/Collaborations ACC – academic advisors (NACADA)


  • 1. From Foster Care To & Through Postsecondary Education & Training: Advances & Exemplars or….. Relationships Matter! Ohio Reach May 16, 2011
  • 2. Graduating from college meant that I won. My father was wrong when he said I wouldn’t amount to anything. Most of all, it meant that I would gain the knowledge to use my experience to help other people. College meant freedom from my past and the ability to choose my future. Maria, 2008 college graduate from foster care *Photo courtesy of Orphan Foundation of America ( ). 2008 Casey/OFA Scholar
  • 3. Improving College Access & Success for Students from Foster Care by….. Financial Aid Options & Packaging Expanding Collaborative Partnerships Forming Institutional Supports & Systems Collaborations Spreading Information, Tools & Consultation Providing State & Federal Policy Informing
  • 4. Higher Education Advocates for the Improvement of College Outcomes for Students from Foster Care
  • 5. 4 Federal Policies that Impact Postsecondary Education Opportunities for Students Coming from Foster Care
    • Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendments (2001) (Chafee Education & Training Vouchers/ETV )
      • up to $5,000 per academic year grants to current and former foster youth to help pay for college or specialized education.
      • ETV grants are funded by the federal government and administered by the states.
      • $47,000,000 est. nationally/$5,000 = +/-10,000 recipients
  • 6.
    • Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (2008)
    • explicitly makes youth who entered kinship guardianship from foster care at age 16 or older eligible for ETV
    • Option for states to extend care to age 19, 20 or 21 (and receive Title IV-E reimbursements)
    • Increased transition planning requirements – including information about the supports and services that may be needed to achieve educational/training goals.
    • College Cost Reduction Act (2008)
    • makes clear that for the purposes of federal financial aid, an “independent student” includes a youth who is “an orphan, in foster care, or a ward of the court at any time when the individual was 13 years of age or older.”
  • 7.
    • TRIO & GEAR UP : target and serve students in or aging out of foster care
    • Staff development activities: strategies for recruiting and serving students from foster care
    • Definition of independent student: is or was in foster care when 13 years of age or older; was in legal guardianship as determined by court (FAFSA questions 55-60)
    • FAFSA: public awareness campaign; EZ FAFSA; 12 month Pell
    • Student Support Services: foster an institutional climate supportive of students in or aging out of foster care
      • Housing
      • Specifically designed programs
    • FIPSE : Demonstration projects to provide support services to ensure students who were in foster care until age 18 enroll and succeed in postsecondary education
    The Reauthorized Higher Education Opportunity Act (P.L. 110-315)
  • 8.
      • Specifically designed programs …..
    • Guardian Scholars spread (45+ in CA, NY, CO, GA, FL & IN)
    • FORWARD (SHSU) & Foster Care Alumni (ACC), Renaissance Scholars (CA), College Success Program (WA), Fostering Scholars (WA), Governors Scholars (WA), Foster Youth Success Initiative/FYSI (CA CC), Linkage to Education (CA), CFSP/OFA (nationwide)
    • Statewide higher education/child welfare systems collaborations in CA, WA, CT, MI, OH, NC,TX (see pg. 43 in Supporting Success)
  • 9. Austin Community College’s Foster Care Alumni Program: “Campus Champions”
  • 10. Rob ..Austin Community College Automotive Technology program student and FCA luggage drive coordinator. FCA JUMPSTART ORIENTATION 2011 4 Day Workshop Tuesday, July 12 - Friday, July 15, 2011
  • 11. Supporting Success: Improving Higher Education Outcomes for Students from Foster Care (Version 2.0) A Framework for Program Enhancement Available free from Casey Family Programs
  • 12.
    • Updates in version 2.0 of Supporting Success include:
      • New and updated profiles of outstanding support approaches at community and four year colleges (see Chapter 5, pp. 44-60)
      • Information on how several state higher education and child welfare systems are working together to establish improved support services statewide (see page 43)
      • A detailed update of the California Community College Chancellor's Office Foster Youth Success Initiative (FYSI) (pp. 44-45)
      • How the reauthorized Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) and the Fostering Connections Act increase higher education opportunities for students from foster care. (see appendix A, pp.65-68)
      • Additional articles and resources (see Appendix D, pp. 93-96)
      • All URLs have been updated on the active PDF … for a few weeks hopefully.
  • 13. Providing Effective Financial Aid Assistance to Students from Foster Care and Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
  • 14.
    • Education Supplements
    • Level III – High School
    • Level IV – Postsecondary Education & Training
  • 15. Getting Started …..
    • Administrative support & championing
    • Assign a lead for an assessment & planning process
    • Initiate your college’s ‘logic model w/ community collaborators .
    • Use a proven process model to develop the support program
      • See Program Planning and Improvement guide (pg. 79, Appendix C & for unprotected Word document)
    • Thank You!