Title

Lost and Found in Transition: How Alumni of Foster Care Experience Transitions in Higher Education

First Presenter's Institution

University of Georgia

Second Presenter's Institution

na

Third Presenter's Institution

na

Fourth Presenter's Institution

na

Fifth Presenter's Institution

na

Location

Ballroom D

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Family & Community

Relevance

Youth in foster care are a vulnerable population of students who graduate from high school and postsecondary schools at lower rates than their peers. This presentation considers the experiences of youth in foster care from an affirmative perspective and shares first hand responses (via qualitative research) about the skills necessary to be successful in schools. A common thread for school success was community and/or family support.

Brief Program Description

School counselors, social workers, and school administrators (p-16) can benefit from this presentation, which emphasizes results from a phenomenological inquiry into the educational experiences of alumni of foster care. This presentation will emphasize the first person accounts of college students who were also in foster care. Their voice offers insight into the ways we can shape our practice in order to best meet the needs of some of our most vulnerable students.

Summary

The proposal will begin with an overview of the research conducted--which includes 8 interviews with college students who were also in foster care. In the introduction, I will share first hand accounts of students' experiences, using direct quotes from the data. For example, one student interviewed said, "My physics teacher is the reason I am in college. He and his wife the elementary principal made sure I went to school every day...They dropped me off at college and let me stay with them when I go home."

The second part of the presentation will emphasize the strategies that students found most effective, including their relationships with case workers, mentor programs at their high schools, and school administrators who showed compassion and empathy. Again, students' voice will be emphasized to provide insight into what has helped them be most successful. One student, for example, credited her school counselor with teaching her the communication skills needed for college interviews and another said she still uses the relaxation techniques she learned from the school secretary.

Student voice is emphasized throughout the program and serves as a guide for promising practices and inspiration as to the value of our professions on our most vulnerable youth.

Evidence

This proposal is based on research conducted via an IRB approved study. This phenomenological inquiry that emphasizes the experiences of youth in foster care is based on the lived experiences of college students. Their first hand experiences can be used to guide our practice.

The research methods are rigorous and include several measures to ensure reliability including member checking. Themes, that will be presented as promising practices were derived from the process of horizonalization, during which, themes are exhausted, then combined for impact.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Sarah Jones is doctoral student at the University of Georgia. Before graduate school she was a classroom teacher in North Carolina public schools for ten years. Her work in higher education includes working with students at risk of attrition as they transition to higher education. Her current research interests include the educational transitions for alumni of foster care and the role of love in the education of students from vulnerable populations.

Keyword Descriptors

transitions, school, counselors, social workers, principals, foster care

Presentation Year

2018

Start Date

3-7-2018 9:45 AM

End Date

3-7-2018 11:00 AM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Mar 7th, 9:45 AM Mar 7th, 11:00 AM

Lost and Found in Transition: How Alumni of Foster Care Experience Transitions in Higher Education

Ballroom D

School counselors, social workers, and school administrators (p-16) can benefit from this presentation, which emphasizes results from a phenomenological inquiry into the educational experiences of alumni of foster care. This presentation will emphasize the first person accounts of college students who were also in foster care. Their voice offers insight into the ways we can shape our practice in order to best meet the needs of some of our most vulnerable students.