Promoting Degree Attainment Among Former Foster Youth

Promoting Degree Attainment Among Former Foster Youth: An Exploration of Florida's Policies, Programs, and Practices to Improve Postsecondary Education for Foster Youth

Helios Education Foundation is dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals in Arizona and Florida by creating opportunities for success in postsecondary education. Helios supports initiatives that address the multitude of challenges students face across the education continuum.

Educate Tomorrow, an organization committed to providing educational opportunities for disadvantaged youth, exemplifies the mission and values of Helios. Recently, Helios and Educate Tomorrow began a partnership to explore data related to the postsecondary opportunities available to Florida students preparing to “age out” of the foster care system. Together we wanted to understand the programs and support available to these students. Additionally, we wanted to identify any trends or impacts that these policies and practices may have upon postsecondary persistence and completion.

The goal of this brief, authored by researchers at Educate Tomorrow and Helios, is to share preliminary findings regarding the opportunities available to youth in the Florida foster care system, as well as data trends around their implementation. It is our hope that legislators, leaders at institutions of higher education, and community organizations will use these findings to promote strategies and practices designed to increase the overall postsecondary attainment of Florida’s youth from foster care.

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