School Psychology Forum

Students in Foster Care: Individualized School-Based Supports for Successful Lives

By Linda M. Neiheiser

Adoption and Foster Care, pp. 21-31

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ABSTRACT: Foster care is a government-based, temporary system of support for children and adolescents whose biologic parents are either unwilling or unable to parent them. Variability exists with regard to the type of foster care continuity of services offered as well as to the placement homes themselves, and—of the nearly half-million youth currently served annually in the foster care system—there is a high mobility rate between homes as well as schools, leading to both academic and social–emotional gaps in skill development. These youth receive special education services at a higher rate than their non–foster care counterparts in the schools. School psychologists may provide both academic and social–emotional support for those who lack permanent families to ensure they have optimal opportunities to succeed both in school and after emancipation from the foster care system.