Foster Care

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Foster care and the educational system are complex organizations. Both organizations address and serve children who experience abuse and neglect. Addressing the educational needs of children in foster care presents a unique challenge to schools, social agencies, and foster parents. It is estimated that in 2013 there were approximately 589,000 children and youth in foster care across the United States (Children’s Bureau, 2014). In 2013, 58,699 children in California were living in foster care. Of these children in care, more than 65% ranged in age from five to twelve years. The median age of children in foster care is 10.6 (California Department of Social Services, 2014). Children are often removed from their homes because social workers determine …show more content…
Children who experience maltreatment/or abuse score significantly lower on standardized tests, achieve lower grades, and exhibit more behavioral problems compared to children who have not experienced maltreatment (Eckenrode, Laird, & Doris, 1993; Leitner & Johnson, 1994). The effects of maltreatment and the loss of significant parental attachment upon entering foster care increases the likelihood that such children will need special attention in school.
Children in foster care experience vast number of development delays and social problems which effects their overall school success. Children in foster care come to school with weakened learning readiness with less than age and grade appropriate academic and social skills due to family turbulence (Altshuler, 2003; Sawyer 1994) Bronfenbrenner (1979) suggested that the family setting, or microsystem, in which the child lives is the principal context in which development takes
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Children in foster care also experience high rates of developmental delay and behavioral problems that place them at risk for disciplinary action at school (Fletcher-Campbell & Hall, 1990). Children residing in foster care who have developmental delays and achieve poor school progress often need special education services (Benedict & White, 1991; McMillen & Tucker, 1999). Thirty percent of children in foster care received special education services; 41% were retained in an elementary grade at least once, and 34% failed an elementary grade (Sawyer & Dubowitiz, 1994). Graduation from high school often decreases when children are placed in foster

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