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Fostering Opportunities: Improving Educational Outcomes for Youth in Foster Care

In order to ensure equal educational opportunities for all students, we must start with the most vulnerable. Students in foster care are changing schools and/or dropping out at higher rates than their same-age peers. This presentation is designed to shine light on the invisible achievement gap for youth in foster care and identify systematic processes for educators to collaborate with child-welfare agencies to better serve this population. Participants will learn about what has worked in Jefferson County, Colorado to address this issue on all system levels- including direct service, policy change and implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

This talk was presented at:
National Title I Conference
February 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Addi Cantor

Addi holds a BA degree in Sociology from the University of Delaware and a Masters in Social Work from Colorado State University. She currently holds a Professional School Social Work License and is working towards clinical licensure. Addi joined the Student Engagement team in 2014 and is passionate about building the Fostering Opportunities program in Jeffco to intentionally improve educational outcomes for youth in foster care and create macro-level change to close the achievement gaps for all vulnerable youth.

Jason Firestone

Jason has been an active member of the advisory committee that oversees the project. In addition he has been part of the ‘On the ground’ team that looks at the day to day workings and collaboration that is required for project success. In addition he has spent 8 years in the Dropout Prevention and Re-Engagement field working with students, families, school leaders and community partners to address and recover students who have or are at risk of dropping out of high school.

Natalie Mall

Natalie has 24 years of experience in Child Welfare. She is an active participant in the development of the Fostering Opportunities program and a key partner for the school district. Natalie also helped secure funding for this project.