It’s that time of year again: new backpacks, notepads, pens and pencils. As kids around the country prepare to say good-bye to summer vacation and get back to school, we thought there no better time to talk about just that: getting an education.
In a 2006 paper titled “The Value of Adoption”, Mary Hansen of American University explains that the human services cost of adoption is about half the cost of long-term foster care for children whose birth parents’ rights have been terminated. Specifically in relation to education, she notes the following statistics about children who are adopted from foster care, compared to those who remain in foster care:
- Their educational progress improves by 50%
- They are 21% less likely to be suspended or expelled from school.
- They are 23% more likely to complete a GED or high school education.
- They are referred to special education half as often.
When it comes to college, there are all kinds of programs in place to help adopted children pay for their education. The idea is that parents who adopt older children from foster care odo not have as many years to save for the child’s college education—which makes sense.
For example, youth who are adopted from the foster care system at age 16 or older may be able to access Education and Training Voucher (ETV) assistance, which provides up to $5,000 per year for youth who are in college or at an accredited vocational or technical training program. Visit the Foster Care to Success website for more information.
Likewise, children who were adopted from foster care at age 13 or older are considered on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be an independent student, which means they don’t have to count family income and are more likely to qualify for financial aid. Check out this Voice for Adoption fact sheet for more information.
The South Carolina Heart Gallery Foundation supports the work of the South Carolina Heart Gallery, which is a collaborative program administered and supported by the Foster Care Review Board, Office of the Governor and the South Carolina Department of Social Services.