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A descriptive analysis of programs serving foster care alumni in higher education: Challenges and opportunities

Jennifer M. Geiger, Megan Hayes Piel, Angelique Day and Lisa Schelbe

Children and Youth Services Review, 2018, vol. 85, issue C, 287-294

Abstract: Foster care alumni experience a number of challenges related to accessing and completing postsecondary education, however little is known about the programs that currently exist in the United States that support this group of students in college. This study sought to build on previous work that calls for the need to develop programs to support foster care alumni in higher education and to obtain a better understanding of the characteristics of existing programs and the perceived programmatic and student challenges as reported by program directors and staff, faculty, and researchers. Eight-one program directors, staff, and researchers in 22 states participated in an online survey about their perceptions of challenges related to programs supporting foster care alumni in college and challenges students experienced. The survey also elicited information about program and student characteristics. Results indicate several challenges related to financial support, student engagement, student housing, and helping students manage family and personal issues. This information created the foundation for a discussion about implications for future research, programs, practice, and policy related to foster care alumni in higher education.

Date: 2018
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