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Title:Educational outcomes of emancipated foster youth: A life course perspective
Author(s):Ludy-Dobson, Christine Rene
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Mech, Edmund V.
Department / Program:Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Social Work
Sociology, Public and Social Welfare
Abstract:The present study examined the educational attainments of young adults who have been emancipated from the foster care system. Data for this study were taken from a sub-set of youth who participated in the Foster Youth Project at the University of Illinois. Findings from the study suggest that the educational attainments of youth discharged from foster care are influenced by factors similar to their peers in the general population. Age at the time of interview and educational aspirations contributed most to the educational outcomes of project youth. Other factors affecting education included college preparatory track in high school, involvement in community organizations, and participation in independent living programs. Race and gender differences were found for the groups as well. White youth were found to have higher attainments than non-whites. Females were also found to have better educational outcomes than males. Closer examinations suggest that different factors affect the educational attainments of youth from different race and gender groups.
Findings from the qualitative portion of this study may offer insights into the educational aspirations of the former foster youth who participated in this project. Youth who had either graduated from high school or went on to college had more positive experiences while in foster care. These youth further described relationships with at least one individual that influenced their life.
Findings from this study suggest that several programmatic changes are needed. First, independent living programs must place more emphasis on the education of youth preparing for emancipation form foster care. Second, foster parents, and others these youth come into contact with while in care, must work to raise the educational aspirations of the foster youth in their care. Finally, programs specifically focused on education should be implemented for the entire foster care population.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Ludy-Dobson, Christine Rene
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9625161
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9625161

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