Guiding students in foster carethrough the post-secondary process

These notes are from the November 18th CACNY Meeting Minutes from a panel presentation titled: Guiding students in foster carethrough the post-secondary process

Harry Berberian – Director of Education Policy, Planning &Practice
Graham Windham – Graham Windham is a child welfare agencythat provides services for children in thecare of ACS.

One alarming statistic Mr. Berberian mentioned during his presentation was that of the 37% of youth in the foster care system who manage to graduate from HS, only 6% will go on to graduate from college.

Michelle Richards – Youth Development Coordinator
Ms. Richards spoke about post-secondary planning for students in foster care and recommends the following when working with this population:

  • Keep in mind that foster care kids need a lot of patience and support.
  • It is important to keep in contact with the case planner and remember to do follow-ups for your foster care kids.
  • There are a lot of resources for foster care kids, such as Educational Training Vouchers (ETV) that can provide up to $5,000 (statevoucher.org) in financial support.

Chano LaBoy – Educational Counselor Goddard Riverside Options Center
Mr. LaBoy gave the following advice when working with foster kids:

  • Foster children are very reluctant about disclosing information necessary for applying to college
  • You need to develop a sense of trust in order to better assist foster children in completing the college admission process, especially the essay and financial aid forms.
  • Housing arrangements are of particular concern for foster kids

Amy Chou – Program Manager New Yorkers for Children. New Yorkers for Children is a non-profit partner of ACS that was founded in 1996.  Its primary purpose is to work with older youth in foster care.  Private donors primarily fund this organization.

Ms. Chou spoke about the two signature programs at her organization.
1. Guardian Scholars-provides tuition, textbooks, tutoring, mentoring to students attending Kingsborough, Hunter or John Jay colleges.
2. Back-to-School package-provides students with a laptop and printer valued at $2,500.

Scott Farber – President A List Services, LLCA-List was founded in 2005 originally as a SAT program for students in foster care.
Mr. Farber gave the following advise when dealing with foster care students:

  • Every foster child is connected to the court through a permanency hearing.
  • Foster children need additional advocacy for college advocacy.
  • In 2008, a memorandum agreement between DOE & ACS was created that allows access to the DOE data-base in order to assist in monitoring foster children
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