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Fostering Opportunities Final Report & Expansion 


The Fostering Opportunities Final Report on the Colorado Lab-led randomized controlled trial of Fostering Opportunities shows the groundbreaking program helped students in foster care to be successful in school and earn timely high school credentials. The program was piloted in Jefferson County (Jeffco) Public Schools. 

Initial findings released last fall led to Fostering Opportunities becoming the only proven approach to improve educational outcomes for middle and high school students in foster care. This best-available evidence informed House Bill 22-1374, which appropriated state funding to support the continuation of Fostering Opportunities in Jeffco Public Schools and expanded the program to Denver Public Schools and the Adams 27J School District. 

Final evaluation findings also show:

  • Students passed their academic courses at a higher rate within two years of having access to the program.
  • Statistically significant gains in student attendance rates. 
  • A statistically significant decrease in the number of student suspensions within one year of having access to the program.

More research is needed to determine whether Fostering Opportunities impacts high school graduation as there were not enough students in the study to make a causal attribution. Descriptive results do suggest that within one year, there was a 51% increase in the number of high school students who were on track to graduate.

“Just having somebody who truly cares and wants you to do better is a big factor in the graduation rate. Because a lot of us foster kids, we don’t really have that.” 

Jeremy Chavez
Jeffco graduate who benefitted from Fostering Opportunities

Jeffco’s Fostering Opportunities video features the voices of students who participated in Fostering Opportunities, foster parents, program staff, and the Colorado Lab.

The Colorado Lab is developing fidelity of implementation resources to support all partners. The Lab will also evaluate outcomes for the two expansion school districts. Companion work is underway to develop strategies to support children who have experienced foster care in attaining a college education. This effort is led by the Common Sense Institute and outlined in their report, Untapped Potential: Economic and Social Costs of Colorado’s Foster Youth.

To learn more about the Fostering Opportunities Program, please contact Dr. Elysia Clemens.