Academic Achievement of Students in Foster Care

Title: Academic Achievement of Students in Foster Care: Impeded or Improved?

Author(s): Larry Evans

Date: 2004

Abstract: Foster care’s impact on academic development was investigated for 392 students reentering foster care. Psychoeducational evaluation was performed at initial and return placements. Average achievement increased .22 points between placements. Students reentering care did not show differences in achievement or IQ compared to control students with a single placement. Although average achievement showed a small increase between placements, some students showed large changes. Declining achievement was directly related to above-average initial achievement ( p < .001), and indirectly related to not being in special education ( p < .001) and nonminority race ( p < .02). Results provide evidence that overall academic development appears neither enhanced nor hindered by foster care placement, but specific groups may be at risk for poor gains.

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