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See our YouTube page for recordings of our Webinars. 

We will continue to post the Power Point presentations here, but all video recordings will be posted to the YouTube page.

Preparing foster youth for college:

A Pre-college Summer Program Experience

Sebrena Jackson, MSW, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and MSW Program Director, University of Alabama School of Social Work

Only 20% of foster youth who graduate high school enroll in college. Studies suggest one major factor contributing to low college attendance is a lack of college preparation. This presentation will discuss a 6 week summer program designed specifically for foster youth, The National Social Work Enrichment Program (NSEP). The four key program components of NSEP will be discussed. Implications for social work practice, policy, and research will also be highlighted.

How former foster youth

finance their eduction

Jacob P. Gross, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor of Higher Education Administration, University of Louisville

Former foster youth are more likely than peers in higher education to come from a low-income family, yet they are less likely to apply for and receive financial aid. Despite high aspirations, paying for college represents a real barrier to attaining a higher education for former foster youth. This presentation will discuss these barriers along with the common ways in which former foster youth finance their education. Implications for practitioners at the high school and college level will be discussed.

Former foster youth are more likely than peers in higher education to come from a low-income family, yet they are less likely to apply for and receive financial aid. Despite high aspirations, paying for college represents a real barrier to attaining a higher education for former foster youth. This presentation will discuss these barriers along with the common ways in which former foster youth finance their education. Implications for practitioners at the high school and college level will be discussed.

HIDDEN TREASURES

UNDERSTANDING THE NEEDS OF FOSTER YOUTH

IN HIGHER EDUCATION

Eunice Matthews-Armstead, Ph.D., LCSW 

Professor, Social Work Program Director at Eastern Connecticut State University 

We are honored to present Eunice Matthews-Armstead, Professor of Social Work at Eastern Connecticut State University. Her presentation, shares the results of a focus group and individual interviews that she conducted with foster care alumni students that explored what students felt contributed to their success and what they thought they needed. She will also talk about the design of a pilot program on her campus.

but I thought they had a free ride?:

Exploring the benefits and limitations of state tuition waivers for youth formerly in foster care

Toni Watt

Professor of Sociology, Texas State University

We are honored to present Toni Watt.  Her presentation, shares the results of studies that examine student tuition waiver access and challenges related to access, and calls for states to attend to the implementation/uptake of their state waiver programs.

The Washington Passport Network – Leveraging Collective Impact

Fred Kingston

 Program Manager, College Success Foundation

Washington state has set an impact goal of parity in educational outcomes for foster youth and their non-foster peers by 2027. The Washington Passport Network, a statewide collective impact initiative supported by the College Success Foundation, is working at the individual campus, regional, and statewide level to promote effective practices and policies. The lynchpin of the approach is the Passport to Careers scholarship – a state funded scholarship and support program that creates a programmatic framework and dedicated funding to coordinate and sustain this work with increasing fidelity.

From Research to Policy: Lessons learned from California

Debbie Raucher

John Burton Advocates for Youth in California

This presentation discusses how California’s collective impact effort, known as California College Pathways, has strategically invested in programs, research, data and advocacy to motivate large scale systems change designed to improve post-secondary outcomes for foster youth. The conscious inclusion of coordinated investment in a research agenda from the project’s inception has been key to its success. This webinar also highlights the results of the research work and share how this research has directly informed State policy and enabled the leverage of over $80 million since 2015.

Findings from a Near-Peer Coaching Intervention for College Students with Foster Care Backgrounds and Mental Health Challenges

Jennifer Blakeslee

Becky Miller

Portland State University

Project FUTURES: Findings from a Near-Peer Coaching Intervention for College Students with Foster Care Backgrounds and Mental Health Challenges, will present a range of findings and lessons learned from FUTURES interventions study, which is one of a number of projects conducted through the Pathways Research and Training Center at Portland State University (https://www.pathwaysrtc.pdx.edu/). In their presentation they will: (1) describe the development and implementation of the FUTURES model, (2) present preliminary analysis of intervention impact on student outcomes related to self-determination, self-efficacy, and mental health, and academic success, and (3) share lessons learned for future research and practice with this population. Additionally, they will share findings from a qualitative sub-study exploring student perspectives of their mental health experiences and foster care backgrounds in the college context, and describe how these are interrelated in ways that inform campus-based programming to support college success for these young people.

Alabama REACH: Building Capacity through a Participatory Program Evaluation

Leah Cheatham,

Assistant Professor

University of Alabama School of Social Work

 

Shannon Hubbard, LMSW

Program Coordinator of Alabama REACH

Adjunct Instructor at The University of Alabama School of Social Work

This presentation will (1) introduce the Alabama REACH program, which supports University of Alabama students from challenged backgrounds, including foster care alumni (who comprise the majority of program participants). Next, they will (2) describe the ongoing program evaluation; these evaluative efforts seek to build program capacity through stakeholder and participant engagement. They will (3) share their preliminary evaluation findings, focusing on narratives of REACH Scholars’ perceptions of the program value as well as and hopes for program growth. Last, they will (4) discuss continuing efforts to translate findings and recommendations into actionable program change.

Early Evidence from the CalYOUTH Study: The Roles of EFC, ETVs, and CSPs on Postsecondary Education Outcomes for Foster YoutH

 Dr. Nate Okpych

Assistant Professor

University of Connecticut’s School of Social Work

 

 Dr. Ethan Park

Assistant Professor

University of Michigan’s School of Social Work

Looking beyond graduation: Experiences of students who were involved in a campus-based support program

Dr. Lisa Schelbe

Associate Professor

Florida State University College of Social Work

Lisa Jackson

Associate Director

Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement at Florida State University

 This presentation, entitled Looking beyond graduation: Experiences of students who were involved in a campus-based support program, will present the Unconquered Scholars Program at Florida State University and a study of the students after graduation. The study surveys 31 students at graduation, 6 months post-graduation, and one-year post-graduation to explore their experiences. Findings indicate that at graduation, students have post-graduation plans and are optimistic. At follow-up, graduates identified obstacles including finances and lack of support. Study findings have implications for preparing students with a history of foster care and homelessness for life after graduation.

Utilizing Data from the Jim Casey Initiative to Improve Educational Outcomes

Maddy Day

Site Liaison

 Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative

Dr. Rachel Rosenberg

Research Scientist

Child Trends

 This presentation is entitled Utilizing Data from the Jim Casey Initiative to Improve Educational Outcomes. The Jim Casey Initiative is focused on all young people aged 14-26 who have experienced one day or more in foster care after their 14th birthday have the relationships, resources, and opportunities to ensure well-being and success. This webinar will provide highlights from recent research publications by the Initiative and discuss the practice and policy implications to support young people to achieve educational success.

First Star Academy: Reflections on an Innovative Program for Foster Youth on a College Campus

Bridget Colacchio Wesley

First Star Loyola Academy

 Loyola University Chicago

The inaugural cohort of youth participated through their high school graduation and most made the transition into college or work. The presenter documented programmatic and clinical observations throughout the experience, and also analyzed youth interview data related to the youths' experiences and the outcomes of the program. This session will provide insights for practitioners considering how to best support foster youth in and through high school and beyond, and for scholars looking at questions of youth well-being and relationships.