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January/February 2017Vol. 17, No. 10Helping Young Adults From Foster Care Succeed in College

The lack of stability that many youth in foster care experience, either from changing schools or foster homes, can have significant implications for their transitions to adulthood and for pursuing higher education. While many youth anticipate college as an opportunity to establish community, several stressors unique to college environments may exacerbate their feelings of instability and isolation. Helping Young Adults From Foster Care Succeed in College, a new resource produced by the Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures, provides tips for educators to effectively help youth in foster care transition to college.

This resource outlines various experiences that may affect the higher educational achievement of youth in care, in addition to tips for educators to help youth transition successfully. 

Tips include the following:

  • Reach out to students in order to provide them a safe place to engage and be heard as well as to help them feel welcome and connected to the life of the college.
  • Encourage and connect students to disability services, while being mindful that youth are often stigmatized with labels such as being "troubled," making them reluctant to disclose any disabilities they may have.
  • Mental health care is important, but students may find it difficult to access the mental health services offered through the university. Be patient, and offer resources and support. It's also important to understand that some youth may not be ready to engage in services.

Access Helping Young Adults From Foster Care Succeed in College at (1,039 KB).