There are approximately 9,000 foster children in Indiana. Removed from their families because they have experienced abuse or neglect, their educational outcomes are heartbreakingly poor.
Studies have consistently found that students with supportive adults and advocates have higher GPAs and test scores, better attendance and improved behavior at home and in school. Research also suggests that at-risk students benefit greatly from education teams supporting their academic success.
FosterEd improves the educational outcomes of foster children by ensuring each is supported by an educational champion and strengthened by an education team. In collaboration with state agencies, legislators and executive officials we develop policies and infrastructure to ensure foster children receive the educational opportunities they need. In partnership with local education, child welfare and judicial agencies, we implement new practices to ensure foster children succeed in school.
In 2012, the Indiana FosterEd Initiative transitioned from a private partnership to a statewide program funded by public dollars. The Indiana Education Liaisons are public employees who serve on staff for the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS). The liaisons function within DCS as subject-matter experts and resources to DCS staff and external stakeholders, including school districts, biological parents, relatives, foster parents and service providers.
Original Partners Through the Grant Initiative in 2011
- Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS)
- Indiana Department of Education (DOE)
- Indiana Supreme Court, Division of State Court Management
Marion County Partners
- About Special Kids
- Child Advocates
- Disability Legal Services of Indiana
- Indiana Youth Institute (IYI)
- Indianapolis Bar Association
- Indianapolis Mayor Office, Office of Education Innovation
- Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS)
- Kid’s Voice
- Marion County Commission on Youth (MCCOY)
- Marion County Department of Child Services
- Marion County Juvenile Courts
- United Way Connected by 25 Initiative
- Youth Law T.E.A.M.
- Indianapolis Community Foundation
- Indianapolis Parks Foundation
- The Mind Trust
- Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust
- USA Funds
- Through the end of 2012, FosterEd’s Education Liaisons had worked directly with over 700 foster children identified as having the most acute unmet educational needs. The liaisons were able to resolve 89% of the educational issues facing these children; 80% of the children had all their educational needs met. Some children left foster care prior to successful resolution of all educational needs.
- FosterEd’s Education Liaisons have conducted numerous trainings; 100% of participants have reported these trainings to be helpful for their job and helpful for children. Trainees include social workers, social work supervisors, foster parents, biological parents, attorneys and child support professionals.
- FosterEd developed, spread and supported new education related objectives and processes implemented by Indiana Department of Child Services family case managers (FCMs) that were found to increase the educational opportunities provided foster children.
- FosterEd’s success lead to its expansion from a privately funded pilot project serving approximately 1,700 Marion County foster children to a publicly funded statewide initiative serving approximately 9,000 Indiana foster children.
- FosterEd: Indiana currently has 16 full-time Education Liaisons located throughout the state.
The information above comes from the most recent independent evaluation of FosterEd Indiana, released in April 2013.