Twice Abandoned

Foster kids graduate high school and go to college at a much lower rate than other groups of children. The federal government is trying to help these young people from falling behind, but many states aren’t doing their part. We look at how schools and child-welfare systems are each failing the foster youth in their care.

Western Michigan sophomore Kayla Mayes has been in foster care for as long as she can remember. The Seita Scholars Program gives her academic, financial and emotional support.

From foster care to college

Western Michigan University is one of several colleges that have started programs to help foster youth earn degrees

Sasha Redlener, a fourth-grade teacher at Mott Haven Academy Charter School, helps her students with an assignment. Classes at the school mix “body breaks” and other playtime with reading and math instruction and lessons in social and emotional skills.

‘A child is not a revolving door’

A South Bronx school started by a child welfare agency has gradually found answers for educating youth in foster care

The Hankinses with their son David. A family court judge rejected the New York City Department of Education’s allegation that the couple had neglected their child by keeping him out of school and having “unrealistic expectations” for his education.

When schools use child protective services as a weapon against parents

Many school employees are legally obligated to report any suspicion of child abuse and neglect, but sometimes that authority is misused

Oliver Francis, of Philadelphia, was placed in foster care because he was truant. He graduated from George Junior Republic, a residential school in Grove City, Pennsylvania, this spring.

Institutions for foster kids aren’t doing enough to educate them

Missing credits and easy, worksheet-based education add to the learning challenges of children in foster care

Greg Cruey, a teacher at Southside K-8 school, greeting students in the morning.

Teachers are first responders to the opioid crisis

In some schools in McDowell County, W.Va., as many as 40 percent of kids don’t live with their parents

Tessa, 7, of Lafayette, Indiana, reads a book in her bright pink bedroom.

The opioid crisis took their parents, now foster kids left behind are being failed again

Teachers and school administrators are on the front lines of this crisis, but often aren't given the tools to help