Educational success is associated with almost every measure of a society’s health and well-being, which is why education is such an important building block for foster children.Unfortunately, youth in foster care are falling behind their parented peers concerning education:
- In BC, only 21% of foster youth graduate from high school within six years of entering Grade 8.
- A higher proportion of foster children in B.C. become involved with the justice system (35.5%) than graduate from high school (24.5%).
To support education for our participants, Aunt Leah’s is working with community partners, and offers programs such as Supporting Education for Foster Youth (SEFFY) that allows our support workers to be more involved in helping foster youth reach their educational goals.
Supporting Education for Foster Youth (SEFFY)
The mission of the Supporting Education for Foster Youth (SEFFY) program is supporting long-term education planning for foster youth and former foster youth in care, primarily between the ages of 16 to 24. The SEFFY model, adapted from Treehouse, emphasises highlighting strengths, identifying needs and advocating for resources that lead to academic success for youth.
There are two parts to the SEFFY model:
- An educational specialist working in partnership with foster youth and other caring professionals in their lives to promote education permanency, with specific focuses on advocacy, resources, reducing barriers and career planning.
- An advisory committee made up of educators and staff from community support agencies to provide guidance on program direction as well as assessing recipients for bursaries on a wide range of educational, skill enhancement and training opportunities rounds up the other part of the SEFFY model.
For more information, please contact the SEFY Coordinator at 604-525-1204 ext. 222
Outcomes and Evaluation
The Supporting Education For Foster Youth (SEFFY) drop-in program supports youth and young adults with their education planning and goals. The evaluation assessed how much SEFFY has helped participants with their academic planning and goals, and canvassed participants’ suggestions for how the program could be improved.
The evaluation also captured the degree to which three recent policy changes have affected program participants, specifically
• the availability of free Adult Basic Education (for high-school level courses);
• the BC tuition waiver program for youth from government care to attend post-secondary education;
• and changes to Agreements with Young Adults (AYA), specifically an increase in the age limit from 24 to 27 years and an extension to the length of time a young person can receive benefits (to 48 months).
Another goal of the evaluation process was to support Aunt Leah’s in creating a plan and meaningful tools (e.g., participant survey) so that SEFFY evaluation activities can be internally sustained in the future, perhaps with external support to analyze evaluation data the program collects.
Aunt Leah’s Place (ALP) contracted McCreary Centre Society to carry out an independent evaluation of its Supporting Education for Foster Youth (SEFFY) program, from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019.
Click Here to read the full evaluation.
This program is generously supported by
|The City of Vancouver|
|Coast Capital Savings|
|The Seedling Foundation|