Sharpening the View: Improving Foster Youth Data to Boost Educational Outcomes

New Research Report by ERP and California College Pathways Illuminates Data Sharing Challenges Facing K-12 Practitioners Across the State

SACRAMENTO, CA, Educational Results Partnership (ERP), a non-profit organization that applies data science to help improve student outcomes and equity throughout the education-to-career pipeline, in conjunction with California College Pathways (CCP) and John Burton Advocates for Youth, have published a groundbreaking report examining the data challenges faced by foster youth practitioners in the California education system. The study builds on prior research conducted by ERP and CCP, focused on identifying opportunities and practices that improve outcomes and increase supports for foster youth students. The new report, Sharpening the View: Improving Foster Youth Data to Boost Educational Outcomes, reveals that the resources allocated to support students are not fully realized when K-12 practitioners are unable to access the timely, consistent and reliable data needed to connect students to services.

“California’s educational system needs to better identify and serve the needs of our foster youth students, and actionable data and alignment are key,” said James Lanich, Ph.D., ERP president and CEO.

“California’s educational system needs to better identify and serve the needs of our foster youth students, and actionable data and alignment are key,” said James Lanich, Ph.D., ERP president and CEO. “Leveraging the insights and direct feedback provided by practitioners on the frontline, our new report identifies the data-sharing challenges and systemic inconsistencies that are causing these students to be overlooked and disadvantaged.” According to the California Department of Education, there are more than 49,000 foster youth enrolled in our state schools. 

Based on the findings of the report, the study surveyed K-12 foster youth practitioners to obtain their perceptions about the quality of foster youth data. Specifically, the report found that K-12 foster youth practitioners:

  • Experience challenges identifying their foster youth due to the inconsistent definitions of “foster youth” in state code.

  • Must access and leverage multiple complex data systems from various agencies when trying to identify and serve their foster students.

  • Do not receive timely data and updates on foster students.

  • Seek more training to improve their understanding and use of foster youth data.
     

“Improving educational outcomes for our state’s foster youth starts with ensuring practitioners have the data resources and training to identify and support their students,” said John Burton Advocates for Youth Education Director Debbie Raucher. “By pinpointing the challenges and gaps that exist, we can focus on developing systems and implementing practices that better serve this vulnerable population.”

“We can’t continue to allow foster youth students to fall through the cracks. Their success, and futures, hinge on improving access to quality data,” Dr. Lanich said.

“We can’t continue to allow foster youth students to fall through the cracks. Their success, and futures, hinge on improving access to quality data,” Dr. Lanich said.

 

Sharpening the View: Improving Foster Youth Data to Boost Educational Outcomes is funded by the Walter S. Johnson Foundation and John Burton Advocates for Youth, and is available for viewing and download below.

Contact:
Alex Barrios, Executive Vice President, Communications

(916) 498-8980 ext. 208

abarrios@edresults.org

Educational Results Partnership

Email: info@edresults.org

Phone: (916) 498-8980

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