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Ohio Reach David Lisa Stats


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The purpose of Ohio REACH is to address recruitment and retention of emancipated foster youth in Ohio’s higher education system and establish foster care liaisons at Ohio universities and community colleges.

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Ohio Reach David Lisa Stats

  1. 1. David Johnston, Life Skills Coordinator, Casey Family Services, New Haven, Connecticut; Lisa Dickson, Communications Chair, Foster Care Alumni of America, Ohio Chapter Columbus State Community College, May 12, 2009 Supporting the Journey from Foster Care to Postsecondary Education
  2. 2. “No one ever talks to foster kids about college. Why not?” Adam, foster care alumni, lawyer and Georgetown graduate “I just needed to hear somebody tell me I could do it. I had never heard that before.” Charvett, foster care alumni , California State East Bay student “I had no idea what college was or how to get there. I didn’t have a family to help me.” DeShaun, foster care alumni, paralegal and College of Mt. St. Vincent graduate 2
  3. 3. Foster Care Youth • 500,000+/- on any given day are in state foster care • 59% are children of color • 28% in care three years or more • 48% have family reunification as goal • 46% live with foster licensed parents
  4. 4. “Aging Out” • 20,000+ age out (‘emancipate’) from foster care annually • 39% graduate from high school or obtain a GED compared to 76% of the general population • 22% are homeless for at least one night after leaving care compared to 1% of the general population • 33% living below the poverty line which is 3 times the national poverty rate for the same age group • Higher rate of PTSD than any other “challenged” group • 33% have no health insurance compared to 18% of the general population
  5. 5. Point of Transition: Child and Adult Systems Disconnection Child Mental Health Adult Mental Health Child Welfare Special Education Juvenile Justice Criminal Justice Substance Abuse Vocational Rehabilitation Housing
  6. 6. Successful Transition to Adulthood • Cultural and personal identity formation • Community connections and supportive relationships – especially a permanent family • Physical and mental health • Life skills • Education • Employment • Housing
  7. 7. Educational Outlook • High school graduation = <50% • Receive special education services = +/-30% • Seven or more school changes = 65% • College enrollment rate = +/-10%? • 4 year college completion rate =2%/4%?
  8. 8. Higher ed, living wage • A bachelor's degree today is the equivalent of a high school degree in the 60s • Two-thirds of all new jobs that will be created in the next 10 years will require post- secondary education
  9. 9. Employment, earnings • Adults who have only a high school degree are twice as likely to be unemployed as those with a bachelor's degree • A typical high school graduate, with no additional education, will earn over his/her lifetime half as much as a college graduate
  10. 10. “College was my lifeline”
  11. 11. Diagram by Lisa Dickson
  12. 12. Statistics Tell A Story • Foster care youth attend five high schools on average • With each transfer, lose 4-6 months of academic progress • 65% change schools in the middle of the year • Higher rates of absenteeism, grade retention, special education, dropping out before graduation
  13. 13. School Transfer Issues • School changes • Different textbooks • Credit transfer issues • Educational liaison?
  14. 14. K-12 school/placement instability • Academic/learning gaps • Lack of educational and career advocacy • Low high school graduation rates • Emotional/mental health issues • Records transfer and confidentiality issues • Lack of education outcome data • Long terms effects of abuse and neglect – trust issues
  15. 15. Barriers to College Access and Success • On their own (‘Independence’) at a young age • Survival mode dominates • Lack of knowledge about college • Lack of role models • Lack of college advocates, mentors/coaches • Long terms effects of abuse and neglect – trust issues • Few college programs are aware of their support needs
  16. 16. Connecticut Postsecondary Committee Mission: To increase the ability of foster youth to attend and succeed in postsecondary education.
  17. 17. Connecticut Postsecondary Education Committee • Dr. Delia Bello-Davila, Chief Operating Officer, Our Piece of the Pie Inc, Hartford • Lila Coddington, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain • Meghan Collins, Connecticut Community Colleges, Hartford • Nicole DeRonck, Vice President, Conn. Assoc. of School Counselors • Jill Ferraiolo, Connecticut State University System, Hartford • Vanessa Gonzalez, Student, St. Josephs College • Gretchen Hayden, Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium • Dr. Ronald Herron, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven • Wendy Jackson, Department of Children & Families, Hartford • David Johnston, Casey Family Services, New Haven, Committee Chair • Wendy Kwalwasser, Department of Children & Families, Hartford • Betty McElveen, Casey Family Services, Bridgeport • T.J. Michalski, Casey Family Services, Hartford • Maria Pastorelli, Department of Children & Families, Hartford • Gloria Ragosta, Conn. Conference of Independent Colleges, West Hartford • Dr. Brett Rayford, Director of Adolescent Services, DCF, Hartford
  18. 18. Goals: • Increase the percentage of foster youth who go on to postsecondary education. • Increase the percentage of foster youth who graduate • Enhance the capacity of secondary schools to assist foster youth in applying, getting accepted, and securing financial aid. • Enhance existing support services of Connecticut postsecondary education institutions to better serve foster youth. • Facilitate discussion of the Committee's mission among key players, including DCF, private agencies, statewide educational agencies, selected higher education institutions, and others
  19. 19. Connecticut • Tuition and fees • Room and board • Books and tutoring • Health insurance *Requires students to pay $500/yr if cost is not covered by other grants/scholarships
  20. 20. Reasons for dropping out • Inadequate preparation: academic and/or “social” • “Culture Shock”, sense of isolation, fear • Too far from home • Inadequate financial aid • Lack of family and community support • Lack of access to existing support services • Lack of relevant support services
  21. 21. Financial Aid Options Chafee Education and Training Vouchers (ETV) – all states w/ = 10,000 recipients Private scholarship expansion – 30+ local, state and national programs Tuition waivers and state need grants – 17+ states State Policy Initiatives Medicaid coverage extension to age 21 (IA, IN, WA, CO, KS, etc) College supports for foster care students (CA & WA legislation) Transfer of foster care payments to college students (HI) Passport to College (WA) – performance grants to colleges w/ “Viable Plans” Targeted College Support Programs Guardian Scholars (30+ CA & IN colleges) Renaissance Scholars (CA), College Success Program (WA), Fostering Scholars (WA), Foster Care Alumni (TX), Governors Scholars (WA), Foster Youth Success Initiative (CA CC), Linkage to Education (CA), OFA (nationwide) National Foster Student College Support Conference (October/November, CA) Advocacy by national higher education organizations (COE/TRIO, NASFAA, NASPA, AACC, NACADA, NSPA, Pathways to College Network, ECS, ABA, and NCAN) Higher Education Amendments (HEA) of 2007 (S.1642 Kennedy) = TRIO focused 23
  22. 22. Preparing for College • High school guidance counselor • Take the ACT or SAT • Educational Testing Service has a directory of practice tests for entrance exams including the SAT, GRE and GMAT.
  23. 23. College Bridge Programs • GEAR UP: College Bridge program; “Gaining early awareness for undergraduate programs” • TRIO: First-generation college student • AVID: (Advancement via individual determination) Summer institutes (TX, FL, CA, Chicago)
  24. 24. Choosing A College • College visits? Trips to the library? • CollegeNET, College View and College Express allow you to search colleges by state, major and tuition. • • •
  25. 25. College Cost Reduction and Access Act Amends the definition of an “independent student” by adding the following three categories:* • Student who is an orphan, in foster care, or a ward of the court, at any time when the student was 13 years of age or older • Student who is an emancipated minor or is in legal guardianship as determined by the court in their state of legal residence • Applicant is verified as an unaccompanied youth who is homeless or at risk of homelessness and self-supporting *Please note: The young person only needs to fit into one of the above categories in order to be eligible to claim independent status. Also, the act does not specify the length of time spent in foster care or the reason for exiting foster care.
  26. 26. ETV funds • ETV funds/OFA: Apply for $5,000/year until age 23. You need to have been in foster care after age 16. • Funds can be used for: Tuition, books, computers, school supplies, living expenses at college, vocational or technical training programs. . • To learn more: 1-800-585-7115
  27. 27. Additional Financial Aid • College Access Hotline Ohio Board of Regents 1-877-I-ATTAIN (1-877-428-8246), Monday – Friday, between 10am – 6pm • National Foster Parent Association • Minority/Disadvantaged Scholarship Program
  28. 28. Opportunities for Connection • Foster Care Alumni of America • Foster Club
  29. 29. Summer/Study Abroad • The Rotary Foundation provides Ambassadorial Scholarships for study abroad. • College Work-Study often covers the cost of summer housing. • Summer Dental/Medical Program: is a FREE (full tuition, housing, and meals) six-week summer academic enrichment program that offers freshman and sophomore college students intensive and personalized medical and dental school preparation.
  30. 30. Resources for Professionals • Casey Family Services • Annie E. Casey Foundation • Casey Family Programs • National Resource Center for Youth Services • From Foster Care to College; Supporting Independent Students: • Foster Care to College Partnership Evaluation: Program Overview and Research Design: • Connecticut Dept. of Children & Families • National Resource Center for Youth Services
  31. 31. Data Sources • “Helping former foster youth graduate from college: Campus support programs in California and Washington”, Chapin Hall, 2009 • “It’s My Life: Postsecondary Education and Training”, from Casey Family Programs,2006 ( • “Supporting Success: Improving higher education outcomes for students from foster care – A Framework for Program Enhancement”, from Casey Family Programs, 2008 • “Improving Family Foster Care”: Findings from the Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study”, Casey Family Programs, 2005