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The Fostering Youth Success Alliance (FYSA) is a newly launched statewide group of stakeholders, led by The Children’s Aid Society, working to improve the socioeconomic, health, housing, and educational outcomes for youth in and aging out of foster care in New York state by collaboratively advocating for effective policies.

For youth in foster care, we estimate only 18-24 percent will ever attend college, as compared to 60 percent of teenagers from the general population. Additionally, national studies find that just 2- 7 percent of foster youth complete a two- or four-year degree. The alliance is mobilizing support to advocate for the education needs of adolescent foster youth through the establishment of a statewide Foster College Success Program, which would help these young people get into and through college.

FYSA recently published Fostering Independence, which outlines the challenges young people face in trying to succeed in higher education. These challenges include:

  • accessing and navigating complex or conflicting information about financial aid;
  • bridging the significant gaps between total expenses and total financial aid assistance; and
  • managing the demands of college and lack of a caring adult in their lives.

The Foster College Success Campaign is aiming for the establishment of a comprehensive financial aid package to close the gap in funding so that youth in foster care can attend colleges and universities in New York State free of charge. It is also critical to establish an array of on-campus supports, such as counseling, advocacy, tutoring, and other social supports, that will ultimately encourage these young people to complete their educations.

For more information about FYSA or to sign on to support the Foster College Success Campaign, please visit us here.