For practically all young individuals, the finale of adolescent life means becoming a part of the employment world, vocational preparation, or post-secondary education. But many are neither in school nor at work, especially among foster youth. A large number of children presently in foster care in the United States are among the highly vulnerable youth in the country (Whiting, 2000). Studies reveal that adults who were previously foster children are more prone to experience low quality of life compared to the mainstream population (Staub & Meighan, n.d.). Thus foster youth are more at-risk of becoming involved in criminal activities, homeless, or reliant on welfare services (Courtney et al., 2010). This paper analyzes the academic performance of youth in foster care and the causes of the observed low educational attainment of these foster youth.
Human capital is obviously necessary for success during the passage toward adulthood, yet researchers on previous foster youth discover low academic performance and that they perform poorly in comparison to the general population. Besides proving that previous foster youth have a lower level of educational achievement, most researchers report that they are less able to finish high school or pass the General Education Development (GED) exam (Zeitlin, Weinberg, & Kimm, 2004). Foster youth confront numerous difficulties or challenges throughout their lives. There are an approximated 500,000 foster care children in the U.S. (Finkelstein, Wamsley, & Miranda, 2002, 1). A large number of them have experienced maltreatment and other ordeals both prior to and after they were transferred to foster care, and numerous have particular social, emotional, and medical needs. However, of all the problems foster youth encounter, poor academic performance could have the most severe impact on their lives. For youth in long-term foster care, a serious problem is the tough transition from ...Show more