Fostering Opportunities Program Manual – Middle and High School Version
Fostering Opportunities is an innovative student engagement program for middle school and high school students who have experienced foster care. The goal of the program is to help youth who have experienced foster care to be successful in school and ultimately earn a high school credential.
With a foundation in social capital theory, the three key components of Fostering Opportunities are designed to be responsive to and respectful of fluidity in students’ living situations, caregivers, eligibility for services, child welfare case statuses, and safety precautions or plans. The three components are: (1) Child Welfare and Education Systems Alignment; (2) The Role of the Specialist; and (3) A System to Track Students Across Placements and Schools. Once the program is established, specialists meet with students regularly to advocate, mentor, and provide social-emotional support and academic support. They also consult and coordinate information to ensure that students experience a consistent network of support in the school environment and beyond. A database is the final critical component, and it is necessary to ensure that information can be shared with the student’s network.
The Fostering Opportunities project is funded by Pay for Success.
Thank you to the leadership and program staff at Jeffco Public Schools and Jefferson County Human Services who worked tirelessly to bring the Fostering Opportunities program to life. A grateful acknowledgement is especially extended to Addi Cantor, Graig Crawford, Jason Firestone, David Kollar, Natalie Mall, and Tim Young.
We would also like to thank the funders who have invested in the development and piloting of the Fostering Opportunities program in Jefferson County, Colorado: