Helping youth in care succeed: Influence of caregiver involvement on academic achievement
This study examines the influence of out-of-home child welfare placements on academic outcomes of youth between ten and 15 years. Assessment and Action Record (AAR) data (n=687) from the Ontario Looking after Children (OnLAC) were analyzed. The majority (85%) of distinctions in academic success were attributable to individual differences in children. Therefore, the role of the placement plays a much smaller role in academic achievement than individual factors. Further results suggested that foster or group caregivers who provided more academic support at home and a positive literacy environment were more likely to care for youth with higher levels of academic success. Contrary to expectations, out-of-home placement caregiver’s involvement with the youth’s teacher and school was not significantly associated with academic achievement of youth living in out-of-home care. Lastly, higher levels of foster or group caregiver expectations were associated with higher levels of academic success.