Best In Class Demonstration Sites

Our demonstration sites involve deep partnerships with local communities. Through them, we facilitate a collective process to build a shared agenda, establish clear metrics that track progress across systems, and implement practices that ensure young people are supported in all the necessary ways in order to succeed. Our team of Education Liaisons, embedded in the local child welfare and education agency, manage this work.

Our vision is for each and every young person involved in the state’s system to be positively engaged in school and learning, empowered to take charge of their educational futures and have meaningful relationships with caring adults who will consistently and effectively support the young person’s educational trajectory once they have exited care. We believe that in order for young people to graduate with a wide array of possibilities for their futures, they need three key things to succeed:

  1. Effective and committed education champions. System-involved youth, like all youth, need strong educational advocates who have the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to effectively support the youth’s education.
  2. Well-coordinated education teams. System-involved youth are much more likely to succeed in school when the adults involved in their lives – social workers, teachers, therapists, CASAs, etc. – are working together in a coordinated, collaborative manner.
  3. Student-centered engagement. Positive engagement and empowerment at school starts with putting the student at the center of their education decision-making. Giving students “voice and choice” in shaping every element of their education leads to educational success, particularly for system-involved youth who have experienced the trauma and loss of control associated with involvement in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

In implementing this vision, we are committed to learning about and incorporating trauma-informed approaches and practices.