Did you know only 50 percent of children in foster care complete high school by the time they reach adulthood, while less than 5 percent go on to graduate college?
Foster youth face numerous challenges in comparison to their peers, with completing an education being only one of them. In honor of National Foster Care Month in May, the U.S. Department of Education released a toolkit, created in collaboration with youth formerly in foster care, to inspire and support the success of current and former foster youth.
The Foster Care Transition Toolkit includes tools and resources to help emerging adults from foster care overcome adversity and achieve a postsecondary education and satisfying career.
“Many foster youth lack stable residences and strong support structures and face tremendous barriers,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. in a press release. “This toolkit offers practical tips on navigating those challenges – with education as the foundation.”
The toolkit includes several examples of existing efforts that provide support to foster youth in addition to advice on financial aid and money management, mentoring programs, health care resources, career support, housing benefits and transportation. While the toolkit is written especially for foster youth, it will prove useful to advocates, educators, mentors, and caregivers who want to support these emerging adults to reach their full potential.
Readers of the toolkit can also find information about college tuition and fee exception policies by state. In Florida, the Department of Children and Families processes applications for transitional support and vouchers for postsecondary education and training. To learn more about the support and resources available to help foster care youth access college in Florida, visit the Florida Reach website here.
For more information on the toolkit, read U.S. Department of Education’s press release. For access to the toolkit, click here.