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September 2010Vol. 11, No. 7Teachers Advise on Helping Foster Children

A long-running California initiative that aims to improve education quality and outcomes for children in foster care has published a suite of new reports and resources. The initiative, Ready to Succeed: Improving Educational Outcomes for Children and Youth in Foster Care, is a partnership among the Stuart Foundation, the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning, and Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc., formed to promote collaboration between the education and child welfare systems. The group's latest releases include two reports.

Ready to Succeed in the Classroom: Findings From Teacher Discussion Groups on Their Experiences and Aspirations Teaching Students in the Foster Care System is a new report based on six teacher discussion groups in three California counties. The groups addressed the experiences of children at every grade level, including those in alternative schools. The resulting report includes discussion on:

  • Barriers that children in foster care experience in school
  • Strategies for welcoming new students who are in the foster care system
  • Assessments for determining a student's education level and progress
  • Wish lists of resources and policies that teachers would like to see from their schools, districts, and communities to help children in foster care succeed in the classroom
  • Advice for other teachers

Grappling With the Gaps: Toward a Research Agenda to Meet the Educational Needs of Children and Youth in Foster Care is based on interviews with 12 foster care experts with a wide variety of experience with children and youth in foster care. The report includes discussion and experts' opinions on:

  • What is needed to promote school readiness for children in the foster care system
  • Necessary components for school success
  • The importance of data collection and sharing
  • A research agenda to spread knowledge about ways to promote educational success for children in foster care

The collaborative has also produced a series of four "discussion cards," each with a different target audience (teachers, schools, districts, and communities), that provide tips on how to help foster children succeed in school.

To find out more about the Ready to Succeed initiative and access the reports and other resources, visit the website:

Related Item

Children's Bureau Express
last wrote about the Ready to Succeed initiative in "Connecting to Improve Education for Children in Foster Care" (February 2009).