26% of foster care students disengaging from school during COVID-19

26% of foster care students disengaging from school during COVID-19

Treehouse works to find ways to support youth

Nearly 26% of youth in foster care served by Seattle-based Treehouse have disengaged from school during COVID-19.

“More than a quarter of the youth we serve in foster care—26%—have disengaged from school, and there are many other concerning trends,” said Lisa Chin, CEO of Treehouse, in a Aug. 11 news release. “Treehouse will monitor our youth to see if these needs persist, connect youth and young adults with additional services and partner with caregivers, social workers and schools to provide extra support during this time of disruption.”

The nonprofit, which works with more than 8,000 youth in care statewide so they have a childhood and a future, has been tracking the educational impacts of COVID-19. Staff completed surveys in July about the emergent needs since March 15 of 1,126 youth on their caseloads. This is the third survey.

Other key findings:

• 44% of foster and relative caregivers need more support in meeting the educational needs of youth in their homes.

• 37% of students with disabilities (42% of youth in care) have not received special education services.

• 25% of youth in care have lost academic progress as a result of the move to distance learning.

• 22% have one or more unmet basic needs (housing, food, clothing, etc.).

• 11% have experienced a placement change.

• 10% have had IEP (Individualized Education Programs) assessments and meetings delayed.

• 5% have experienced a school change.

In response, Treehouse is working with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to provide guidance and support to school districts. Treehouse also is ramping up to make sure caregivers and social workers have everything they need to navigate distance learning in the new school year.

The organization has been a leading voice advocating with Gov. Jay Inslee on how to spend discretionary funding through the CARES Act to ensure Washington meets all basic and educational needs of children and youth in foster care.

Thanks to contributions from communities throughout the state, Treehouse has funded more than $800,000 in technology and other critical supports since the beginning of the pandemic.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@mi-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.mi-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

[flipp]

More in Northwest

Seattle Children’s Hospital (Courtesy photo)
Seattle Children’s Hospital identifies racial disparities in infections, security response

The healthcare provider did not respond to multiple requests for data used to identify disparities.

File photo/Sound Publishing
Ban on single-use plastic bags in WA begins Oct. 1

Shoppers will have the choice to pay for a reusable plastic or recycled paper bag.

Courtesy Photo, Port of Seattle
Port of Seattle to require vaccinations for employees

2,200 workers must be vaccinated by Nov. 15

People hold up signs in protest of Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest proclamations during a Rally for Medical Freedom on Aug. 25 in Buckley. Photo by Alex Bruell/Sound Publishing
State workers get incentive to comply with vaccine mandate

An agreement between the state and their union also provides for some leeway in meeting the deadline.

This is a screenshot that shows the pursuit of a stolen vehicle Sept. 1 on Interstate 5 in King County.
VIDEO: Auburn police let suspected vehicle thief go, citing new laws

State laws passed earlier this spring require police to have probable cause to engage in a pursuit.

Juanita High School student Ria Mahon. Courtesy photo
Student brings awareness to menstrual health among Puget Sound’s homeless

When Ria Mohan, a junior of Juanita High School in Kirkland, had… Continue reading

Matt Axe, the Wildfire and Forest Resiliency Coordinator with the King Conservation District, speaks to homeowner Anita Kissee-Wilder about fire reduction strategies at her home in North Bend on Aug. 24. Photo by Conor Wilson/Valley Record.
King County braces for more wildfires in rural areas

Firefighters have already responded to a number of large fires.

t
New data dashboard tracks COVID-19 risk for unvaccinated, vaccinated people

Information compiled by Public Health – Seattle & King County

This 2019 security footage at the Cenex gas station in Black Diamond shows Anthony Chilcott on his phone before entering, and driving off with, Carl Sanders’ Ford Raptor and Monkey, his poodle, in the front seat. Courtesy photo
Oversight office releases scathing report on King County Sheriff’s Office

Report analyzes 2019 killing of Anthony Chilcott by deputies.

Close-up hand using phone in night time on street. File photo
King County Council steps closer to establishing hate crime hotline

The program is aimed at reducing the number of unreported hate crimes.

A Link light rail train travels underneath the University of Washington during testing to open the new line to Northgate. COURTESY PHOTO, Sound Transit
Northgate Link light rail testing moves into final stages

Three new north Seattle stations opening Oct. 2