Interventions aiming to improve school achievements of children in out-of-home care: A scoping review
The educational underachievement of children in out-of-home care has been known for decades. In this scoping review, we compiled and analyzed – with a narrative approach – evaluated interventions that aimed to improve foster children's school achievements. Despite a comprehensive searching strategy, only eleven relevant studies were found, indicating that little has been done in intervention research to improve educational outcomes for children in public care. Nine out of the eleven interventions reported some positive results. Literacy was improved in most studies, while evaluated attempts to enhance numeracy skills yielded mixed results. Positive results came from a range of different interventions, e.g. tutoring projects and structured individualized support. We conclude that most focused interventions seem to improve foster children's poor academic achievements, but tutoring projects have so far the best empirical support from evaluations with rigorous designs. Also there's a definite need for more intervention research.
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- Dalen, Monica & Hjern, Anders & Lindblad, Frank & Odenstad, Anna & Ramussen, Finn & Vinnerljung, Bo, 2008. "Educational attainment and cognitive competence in adopted men -- A study of international and national adoptees, siblings and a general Swedish population," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(10), pages 1211-1219, October.
- Berlin, Marie & Vinnerljung, Bo & Hjern, Anders, 2011. "School performance in primary school and psychosocial problems in young adulthood among care leavers from long term foster care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(12), pages 2489-2497.
- Pecora, Peter J. & Kessler, Ronald C. & O'Brien, Kirk & White, Catherine Roller & Williams, Jason & Hiripi, Eva & English, Diana & White, James & Herrick, Mary Anne, 2006. "Educational and employment outcomes of adults formerly placed in foster care: Results from the Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 1459-1481, December.
- Cook, Ronna J., 1994. "Are we helping foster care youth prepare for their future?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 213-229.
- Vinnerljung, Bo & Hjern, Anders, 2011. "Cognitive, educational and self-support outcomes of long-term foster care versus adoption. A Swedish national cohort study," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1902-1910, October.
- Trout, Alexandra L. & Hagaman, Jessica & Casey, Kathryn & Reid, Robert & Epstein, Michael H., 2008. "The academic status of children and youth in out-of-home care: A review of the literature," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 979-994, September.
- Harper, Julie & Schmidt, Fred, 2012. "Preliminary effects of a group-based tutoring program for children in long-term foster care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1176-1182.
- Stone, Susan, 2007. "Child maltreatment, out-of-home placement and academic vulnerability: A fifteen-year review of evidence and future directions," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 139-161, February.
- Flynn, Robert J. & Marquis, Robyn A. & Paquet, Marie-Pierre & Peeke, Lisa M. & Aubry, Tim D., 2012. "Effects of individual direct-instruction tutoring on foster children's academic skills: A randomized trial," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1183-1189.
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