Educational health is not a term often used or heard. It is rooted in family and child well-being. For children and teens in foster care, educational health is particularly critical. Frequent school absences and poor academic achievement often occur prior to entering care. In fact, children and teens enter foster care with high rates of educational difficulties. Research shows that kindergartners in foster care have half the vocabulary of their peers. Nearly half of school-aged children and teens in foster care are involved in special education. Of those that are involved in special education, half have significant behavior problems, which often lead to high rates of school suspensions and missed educational opportunities. Many teens in foster care complete their high school education through obtaining a General Education Diploma. According to the National Working Group on Foster Care and Education, 8% of teens or young adults completed a bachelors degree (3% among those aged 25 or older) compared to the general population rate of 24%.
There is some good news — entry to foster care is associated with improved school attendance and academic achievement.
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