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The effects of placement and school stability on academic growth trajectories of students in foster care

Elysia V. Clemens, Kristin Klopfenstein, Trent L. Lalonde and Matt Tis

Children and Youth Services Review, 2018, vol. 87, issue C, 86-94

Abstract: As a result of the Every Student Succeeds Act and its requirement that students in foster care be included in education report cards, states have a renewed sense of urgency surrounding accountability for the academic achievement of this vulnerable group of students. This study examined the effects of placement and school stability on students' academic growth before, during, and after out-of-home placements. The sample consisted of 7674 youth in 4th through 10th grades from one Mountain region state who were also in foster care at any point between 2008 and 2014. The findings from the current study underscore the importance of: (a) supporting “catch-up” growth when students initially enter the child welfare system; (b) considering the detrimental effects of co-occurring placement changes and school moves in case planning for students in foster care; (c) maintaining academic progress for those students who are meeting grade-level expectations; and, (d) implementing supports and services that extend beyond the duration of time that students are in foster care.

Date: 2018
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