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ERIC Number: ED537698
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 166
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2671-4845-2
Responding to the Needs of Foster Teens in a Rural School District
DeGarmo, John Nelson
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
As more children are placed under foster care, schools often have difficulty in responding to newly placed foster teens. Foster teens often exhibit both academic and behavioral adjustment issues, leading to disciplinary problems and high failure, and dropout rates. Attachment theory related to placement disruptions, school performance and behavior, and the relationships between foster teens and the adults in their lives with regards to foster teens' needs and issues. This led to a qualitative case study based on interviews with teachers, caseworkers, and foster parents in a rural school district that explored their experiences regarding the educational needs of foster teenaged students. Interviews with 10 stakeholders (2 case workers, 5 teachers, and 2 foster parents of teens) were conducted in individually recorded 30-minute sessions. The interviews were transcribed, coded, and analyzed with the resulting 4 themes: (a) perception by stakeholders that foster teens face particular emotional and educational challenges at school; (b) lack of specific educational background information provided teachers, foster parents, and caseworkers for each foster teen; (c) need for creation of a network between foster parents, teachers, and caseworkers; and (d) need for rapid building of relationships with foster teens. The findings led to a project that included a workshop and guide for all categories of stakeholders, adaptable to other districts, and geared toward creating better understanding and improved communication between stakeholders that would be conducive to school adjustment for foster teenagers. Implications for social change include a new communications protocol for stakeholders and formation of a foster student support team that can assist foster teens in adapting to school and contributing to their community in a more positive manner. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A