Also, children who do not graduate from school are also at risk for negative and risky behavior during adolescence that can transcend into adulthood. These behaviors include delinquency, drug abuse and violence as well as long-term adjustment issues.
Essentially, children in foster care are at greater risk for not succeeding in school and do have more emotional issues than children of the general population. There must be the utmost emphasis on helping them to succeed. One study conducted suggested the difference between success and failure for a child could be determined with only a few steps and relatively minimal effort on the part of care givers and educational institutions. These include making sure transcripts transfer in a timely manner, a strong working relationship between educators and social workers, the care giver (foster parent) involvement in the education process, and social workers being involved in the direction of the childs education. Of those foster care alumni who were able to overcome their circumstances and do extremely well in life stated that they also had an adult that they could turn to for guidance or advice.
“Having a friend or family member who is available for support seems to make a difference in educational attainment for many youths. One study of alumni of foster care currently enrolled in postsecondary education found that 64% reported that the foster care system did not prepare them very well for college, but 87% stated that they had a friend or family member who they could ask for help or advice.(Merdinger, Hines, Osterling, & Wyatt, 2005).” (Anne Havalchak, 2009)
As a foster child, the statistics and the problems are mounted up against them from the beginning. Many are taken from homes under circumstances that are unfathomable, but for them it is a reality. Education should be their right, and if the system is to really serve them, it should be placing their education and mental well being at the forefront of their care.
Anne Havalchak, C.R. (2009). Foster Care Experiences and Educational. Social Work Journal, 3-7.
Fernandez, E. (2008)..