Over the past several weeks, more than 3 million young people in the United States have graduated from high school. How many of those youth were or have been in foster care? The numbers are likely lower than you imagine - not because so few high schoolers are in foster care but because so few students in foster care graduate from high school.
Youth in foster care had a 55.3% graduation rate in 2020, compared to a rate of 87.3% for their peers not in foster care. Similarly, youth in foster care have a higher dropout rate than their peers and are more likely to be held back, suspended or expelled.
For those who graduate, the next steps are not any easier. In fact, the stats for college are much worse. Less than three percent of foster care youth earn a bachelor’s degree.
Educational success should not be an anomaly for youth in foster care. It should be the norm. At the R.J. Leonard Foundation we are committed to changing the statistics. Join us in this mission, as we help youth aging out of the foster care system find and accomplish their educational and career paths. Click here for more information.