To ensure that all LAUSD students are enrolled, attending, engaged,
and on-track to graduate.
There were approximately 7,427 LAUSD students residing in foster care in the 2015-2016 school year. In addition to the emotional, physical and psychological harms that initially brought them into the child welfare system, foster youth must also deal with the emotional impact of being removed from their homes and separated from their families. Many foster youth frequently move from one foster home to the next, forcing them to also switch schools (over 1/3 of foster youth attend two or more schools each school year), further contributing to the stress and instability in their lives. As a result of these stressors, the educational achievement for foster youth is alarmingly low. Test scores, grades, credits, and overall academic performance are affected.
Foster Youth Achievement Program is a specialized program within the LAUSD’s Pupil Services Unit that is dedicated to enhancing educational outcomes and academic achievement for students living in foster care (e.g., with relative caregivers, foster care, and group homes). Foster Youth Counselors provide case management and counseling services to students and their families; conduct comprehensive academic assessments; work with children's social workers to ensure school stability; expedite and assist with prompt school enrollment and transfer of student records; participate in case-conference and educational meetings; consult and train Local District (LD) and school staff, community agencies, and Department of Children and Family Service (DCFS) social workers; assist in locating District services and community resources available to at-risk students; and engage in research and data collection aimed at improving educational policies and identifying best practices for students living in foster care.
The comprehensive academic assessments conducted and interventions implemented by Foster Youth Counselors within the Foster Youth Achievement Program will serve to:
- Increase attendance rates
- Improve performance on state tests
- Increase graduation rates
- Reduce chronic absenteeism
- Reduce number of suspensions
- Reduce dropout rates