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CSBA Launches Campaign to Support Foster Youth

#Action4FosterYouth provides resources, videos and strategies for boards of education, school districts and communities to better support foster youth, as part of National Foster Care Month


SACRAMENTO, Calif., (May 12, 2016) – The California School Boards Association (CSBA) is raising awareness about foster youth through a new campaign highlighting the challenges faced by many foster youth and strategies that boards of education, school districts and communities can use to strengthen the level of safety, stability and support provided to this often overlooked group of students.

The #Action4FosterYouth campaign, which debuts as part of National Foster Care Month, is part of an ongoing effort to improve the conditions experienced by foster youth and provide the help needed to produce successful educational and life outcomes. The campaign features a fact sheet, “Our Foster Youth: What School Boards Can Do” and a series of three brief videos illuminating the experiences of foster youth, and best practices for implementing policies and programs to support the academic and social growth of this population.

The first video, “Not Invisible,” delivers a powerful and compelling message in the voices of foster youth. “I am not a number, a placement or a manila folder,” says one of the student actors sharing the stories of actual foster youth. “The truth is, I have bigger issues than just my schoolwork – and we need your help.”

As a group, foster youth have exceptionally poor outcomes, even when compared to low-income peers. Foster youth have the lowest graduation rate and the highest dropout rate and are more likely be enrolled in low-performing schools and to score below the average in state testing.

In recognition of the disparate outcomes between foster youth and the general population, foster youth are designated for extra support under California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which provides additional monies to school districts with high numbers of low-income, English learner, foster youth and homeless students. The #Action4FosterYouth campaign, which is supported by a grant from the Stuart Foundation, helps education leaders and community members better understand the scope of the challenge, and work toward a more successful scholastic experience and better life outcomes for foster youth.

“Students in foster care face circumstances that are far more challenging than those faced by many of their peers. Such circumstances often make learning difficult for foster students and their futures uncertain,” said CSBA President Chris Ungar. “An important first step to changing foster youth outcomes is learning about their challenges.”

To stay abreast of the latest developments and resources, watch: #Action4FosterYouth.

CSBA is a nonprofit association representing nearly 1,000 PreK-12 school districts

and county offices of education throughout California.