Enhancing Education Stability for Foster Children
Every year the State of Georgia assumes the role of parent to thousands of children who have been neglected or abused by their families. Outcomes for the 7,000 'children in care' in Georgia, especially those in care for substantial periods of time, make sobering statements about these children's future: 25% of foster children end up homeless and 25% of male foster kids end up in prison. Only 3 % graduate from college.
Helping the State build a better future for these children through educational achievement is the goal of Georgia Appleseed project, 'Enhancing Education Stability for Foster Children.' In partnership with Families First, a nonprofit with a long history of seeking sustainable solutions for children and their families, this project will seek to enhance 'education stability' to Children in Care and improve educational focus and outcomes. This includes
- providing for a child to remain in their school of origin despite changes in placement;
- if change in schools is in the best interest of the child, then assuring the transition is as timely and seamless as possible;
- access to effective services and supports (such as tutoring, credit recovery, and special education) to ensure successful completion of high school;
- post-secondary tuition assistance and other support to help a child succeed in college.
King & Spalding LLP is the lead law firm volunteer team, spearheaded by Beth Tanis, Georgia Appleseed Board Chair. A complete list of the Education Stability for Foster Children Advisory Committee members can be found here.
In close collaboration with Families First, the project scope begins with review of federal and state law regarding rights of Children in Care to educational stability; a volunteer-led examination of current stability/support practices in Georgia; and establishment of an expert Advisory Committee.
Anticipated outcomes include
- a summary report of legal and factual findings;
- an easy-to-read summary for children, their caregivers, case managers and others of stability/support benefits available to Children in Care;
- development of trained "Education Advocates" and a legal framework to support their efforts on behalf of Children in Care;
- and advocacy for any necessary changes in law or policy.