PI: Jacqueline Huscroft-D'Angelo
Co-PI: Alex Trout
Key Personnel: Kristin Duppong Hurley, Matthew Lambert
Funding Source: Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement – Education Innovation, and Research (#U411C190009), 2019-2025
Fostering Educational Success logo

Objective: To develop and evaluate the Fostering Educational Success (FES) program with adolescents (grades 6-12) departing foster care to permanency placements.

Program Description: Fostering Educational Success is an education-focused support program that aims to improve the school outcomes and experiences of students in grades 6-12 and their caregivers during the transition from foster care to permanency placements. Supports are provided in three primary areas (school connectedness, academic engagement and family cohesion) by a trained Family Coach.

Project Description: Fostering Educational Success: Engaging Families, Empowering Youth is a five-year collaboration between the Academy for Child and Family Well Being, KVC Nebraska, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The team will work to develop, refine, and evaluate the FES program to keep students connected and engaged with school in order to improve short- and long-term educational outcomes including school engagement, home-to-school relationships, peer relationships, and promote positive school and community agency collaborations.

Study Aims:
(1) Develop program components and measures to address the needs of students exiting foster care to permanency placements.
(2) Pilot-test for feasibility, acceptability, and further program refinement.
(3) Evaluate FES through a three-year Randomized Clinical Trial (RCT) targeting primary outcomes which include discharge and six-month follow-up evaluations of student educational engagement, school connectedness, family functioning, empowerment, implementation fidelity, social validity, and FES costs.

Published Manuscripts:
Huscroft-D'Angelo, J., Poling, D., & Trout, A.L. (2021). Foster parent perspectives on necessary supports for youth and their families departing foster care. Journal of Social Work, 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1177/14680173211013735

Huscroft-D'Angelo, J., Poling, D., Trout, A.L., Brown, A., & Dittmer, C. (2021). Service provider perspectives of educational supports for students transitioning from foster care to permanency placements. Journal of Public Child Welfare, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15548732.2021.1942390

Huscroft-D'Angelo, J., Trout, A.L., Henningsen, C., Patwardhan, I., Lambert, M., Synhorst, L., & Tyler, P. (2019). Legal professional perspectives on supports for youth and families during reunification from foster care. Children and Youth Services Review, 107. DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.104525

Year 1 Focus Group Findings
In year one of this project, we explored perspectives of educational needs from four key stakeholder groups (caregivers, young adults, education professionals, and service providers). Click on the infographics below to see what stakeholders perceive to be most important supports for youth transitioning to permanency and strategies to engage families in education focused support groups.

Foster Care Infographic
Foster Care Infographic


KVC Nebraska logo
Academy for Child and Family Well Being logo
UNMC logo