Foster Youth Services 2014 - Legislative ReportIncludes information on program effectiveness generated by the Core, Countywide, and Juvenile Detention Foster Youth Services programs during the 2012–13 school year.
California Department of Education
Report to the Governor and the Legislature:
Foster Youth Services Program
This report is required by California Education Code (EC) Section 42923(b).
In 1981, the Legislature recognized that a high percentage of foster youth were working substantially below grade level, were being retained at least one year at the same grade level, and were becoming school dropouts. In response, the Legislature declared that the instruction, counseling, tutoring, and provision of related services for foster youth be a state priority and mandated the Foster Youth Services (FYS) Core Programs through EC sections 42920–42925, establishing six FYS Core Programs that provide services to all foster youth attending schools in each of the Core Program districts. The Budget Act of 1998 expanded services statewide to foster youth living in licensed children’s institutions by enabling county offices of education to apply to a grant program administered by the California Department of Education. The Budget Act of 2006 expanded the statewide services to include foster youth residing in Foster Homes, Foster Family Agencies, Court Specified Placements, and Juvenile Detention Facilities.
The goals of the FYS Programs are to (1) identify the educational, physical, social, and emotional needs of foster youth; (2) determine gaps in service provision and provide educational and social support services, either through direct service provision or referral to collaborative partners; (3) identify inadequacies in the completion and timely transfer of health and education records to facilitate appropriate and stable care and educational placements; (4) improve student academic achievement, reduce incidence of juvenile delinquency, and reduce rates of student truancy/dropouts; and (5) provide advocacy to promote the education-related best interests of foster youth throughout California.
Outcome data for the FYS Programs for the 2012–13 school year show that 72 percent of foster youth served gained more than one month of academic growth per month of tutoring received, surpassing the target population objective by 12 percent. The high school completion data collected indicates that 62 percent of eligible twelfth graders completed a high school program. In addition, only 0.19 percent of foster youth served were expelled, surpassing the target rate of less than 5 percent, and the foster youth exceeded their attendance target rate of 90 percent.
In their 2012 year-end reports to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, all of the FYS Programs reported substantial progress in establishing effective collaborative networks for service provision. The data show that the FYS Programs have had an impact on the educational achievement and success of foster youth in their communities. Recommendations from FYS providers include: (1) continue the existing FYS Programs and provide adequate funding to support the programs; (2) develop a statewide database for collecting and sharing health and education information and outcome data on foster youth; and (3) expand the FYS Countywide Programs to provide services to all foster youth and provide additional funding to support an expansion of services.