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FosterEd: Santa Cruz County Judge Denine Guy, Superior Court of Ca., Santa Cruz County, Juvenile Division Mark Holguin, Family and Children’s Services.

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Presentation on theme: "FosterEd: Santa Cruz County Judge Denine Guy, Superior Court of Ca., Santa Cruz County, Juvenile Division Mark Holguin, Family and Children’s Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 FosterEd: Santa Cruz County Judge Denine Guy, Superior Court of Ca., Santa Cruz County, Juvenile Division Mark Holguin, Family and Children’s Services Michael Paynter, County Office of Education – Foster Youth Services Rachel Velcoff Hults, National Center for Youth Law Jennifer Laird, MPR Associates, Inc. 1

2 Grantee: National Center for Youth Law, FosterEd Initiative NCYL is a non-profit organization based in Oakland, California that works to ensure that low-income children have the resources, support, and opportunities they need for healthy and productive lives. NCYL’s FosterEd Initiative seeks to improve the educational outcomes of children and youth in foster care. FosterEd operates in California, Indiana, and Arizona. The Santa Cruz County project is a pilot for the state of California. 2 Grantee Program APRIL 2013

3 Project Description: Goals and Objectives Improve the educational outcomes of Santa Cruz County foster children/youth by ensuring each has an educational champion with the beliefs, capacities, and behaviors proven to support educational success, and is developing educational resiliency. Ensure that project outcomes and processes are measurable and regularly measured, with data used to drive improvement and evaluate success. 3APRIL 2013

4 Project Description: Key Collaborative Partners County Office of Education – Foster Youth Services Superior Court of California, County of Santa Cruz, Juvenile Division Human Services Department – Family and Children’s Services Community organizations and providers, such as CASA State-level oversight provided by California’s Improving Educational Outcomes of Children in Care workgroup 4APRIL 2013

5 Project Description: Target Population School-age children/youth who are the subject of an open Santa Cruz County dependency case and reside in Santa Cruz County, and their educational champions. There are approximately 245 such children/youth in Santa Cruz County at any given time. To date, the project is serving approximately 60 children. Implementation is being phased in, with children entering the project at select points in the dependency process. Educational resiliency work will be focused on youth ages 11 to 17. 5APRIL 2013

6 Project Description: Proposed Services, Activities, Processes, Outputs Identification of one or more educational champions to support the child’s school success. Identification of the educational champion’s and child’s education- related strengths and needs. Development of educational intervention plans. Implementation, ongoing monitoring, and updating of educational intervention plans. 6APRIL 2013

7 Project Description: Logic Model APRIL 20137

8 Project Description: Key Expected Outcomes One or more educational champions are identified for each child in foster care in Santa Cruz County. Educational champions develop the beliefs and expectations needed to support the child’s school success. Educational champions develop the skills and capacities needed to support the child’s school success. Child’s educational needs are increasingly identified and addressed. Over time, educational outcomes improve (i.e. attendance rates and grades). 8APRIL 2013

9 Evaluation Approach External Evaluators: MPR Associates Key Research Questions: 1. Who participates in FosterEd? For the target population of foster children/youth, what portion of them has an educational champion who participates in FosterEd? Who are the participating educational champions, and what are their relationships to the child/youth (e.g., biological parent, foster parent, relative caregiver)? 2. What activities are associated with the implementation of FosterEd? What services are provided to educational champions through FosterEd, and by whom? What factors enhance or detract from the implementation of FosterEd? APRIL 20139

10 Evaluation Approach (continued) Key Research Questions 3. Do educational champions who participate in FosterEd demonstrate growth over time in beliefs, behaviors, and capacities associated with educational success? If so, what is the nature of that growth? Did participants perceive activities related to FosterEd to be beneficial? 4. Do foster children/youth with educational champions in FosterEd demonstrate improvement in educational performance? For children/youth with educational champions served by FosterEd, is there demonstrated improvement in rates of school attendance, California Standards Test (CST) performance, and school behavior? How do these rates compare to district, county, or state-level student performance? APRIL 201310

11 Research Design: Mixed-method approach (quantitative and qualitative) Leveraging merged child welfare and education data Quasi experimental Evaluating a number of comparisons strategies Assessment of short- and long-term outcomes Example of short-term outcome: increased skills of educational champion to support child’s or youth’s education Example of long-term outcome: increased school attendance and grades APRIL 201311 Evaluation Approach (continued)

12 Opportunity to provide meaningful, individualized support to foster children and youth and their educational champions. Opportunity to raise education as a critical part of the dependency court case plan and service provider focus. Opportunity to develop tools, strategies, and best practices that can be used in Santa Cruz County as well as other counties throughout the state. APRIL 201312 Expected Opportunities

13 Effective engagement of birth parents who are facing a diverse range of challenges personally and within the court process. Develop individualized intervention plans with incremental goals. Present involvement in education as a positive way to support and provide stability for the child. Identify and engage caregivers and others as “co-champions.” Gathering and reviewing data for large numbers of children and educational champions. Focus on inter-agency collaboration and systemic and technological communication. Develop standardized tools to screen for and track strengths, needs, and goals. APRIL 201313 Expected Challenges & How to Address Them

14 Sustainability Plan Implementation is being carried out by Santa Cruz County agencies, largely through use of existing resources. Grant-supported staff will model educational coaching, case management, and project management strategies for social workers, FYS staff, and existing service providers (train-the- trainer approach). Investment in development of assessment/screening tools, technological infrastructure, and practices for ongoing use beyond the grant period. APRIL 201314

15 Dissemination Plan Distribution of curriculum and related materials online (see, through state-level leadership team, and through trainings (such as state-wide FKCE program training) Development and distribution of toolkits for project implementation in other counties, with support from the Child & Policy Institute of California and state-level leadership team. Dissemination of final evaluation report. APRIL 201315

16 Questions for Fellow CWED Grantees What strategies do you recommend for effectively engaging and collaborating with school district and school site staff? What lessons are you learning, and what advice can you share, regarding improving data-sharing in your jurisdiction? Do you have advice for how best to support agency and project staff as the scope of implementation grows? ° ° ° Thank you for your time and input! For more information about FosterEd: Santa Cruz County, please visit or contact Rachel at APRIL 201316

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