Champions for System-Involved Scholars in California
Recent policy changes make California the first state to include foster youth in its education accountability framework, yet many school districts lack the tools and inter-agency protocols to support their educational success. Moreover, closing the achievement gap for students in foster care requires dynamic multi-agency collaboration between local education, child welfare, judicial and community-based partners with a shared vision for effectively serving this particularly vulnerable population of students.
FosterEd California supports our public agency partners around systems and practice reforms to better support the education needs of system-involved youth through:
- A policy agenda focused on collective responsibility around the education outcomes of system-involved youth;
- The scale and spread of effective practices for local educational and child welfare agencies to meet the educational needs of young people; and
- A multi-agency pilot in Los Angeles County to improve high school graduation rates and expand post-secondary opportunities for system-involved youth.
Since 2015, FosterEd has worked with partners in Santa Clara County, CA, to build and implement the “Education Champion Project,” an initiative to improve the education outcomes of probation-supervised youth who have co-occurring mental health and substance abuse diagnoses.
FosterEd’s first demonstration site in California was in Santa Cruz County. The project involves a remarkable level of support and collaboration among public agencies and community-based organizations, ultimately leading to the work being sustained through public agency funding.
Since 2014, FosterEd has led highly collaborative projects between Los Angeles County school districts, the Los Angeles County Office of Education, and the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services to better support the educational needs of foster youth students.