Higher education continues to be an elusive social space for too many children and youth in the United States foster care system. Yet a four-year pilot project in California has demonstrated that former foster youth can surmount the detrimental effects of childhood adversity to complete their undergraduate degrees and, with additional preparation, advance to graduate degree programs. Building on the success of campus support programs throughout the state, the Guardian Professions Program (GPP) at the University of California Davis employed a research and implementation framework based on Participatory Action Research (PAR) and made use of surveys, qualitative interviews and ethnographic data to develop the model. In this article the authors describe and analyze the GPP, an initiative that pioneered the use of online technology to assist seventy-four former foster youth successfully gain a level of educational success that is not often associated with this demographic. Not all children and youth who are involved in the child welfare system will have the interest or determination to pursue a university education and undertake an advanced degree. However, services and academic assistance for those students who have the aptitude can promote higher education as a path to achievement and self-sufficiency.
Children and Youth Services Review – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2017
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