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Educational Outcomes and Obstacles for Children and Youth in Foster Care in Hawai‘i.

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Title:Educational Outcomes and Obstacles for Children and Youth in Foster Care in Hawai‘i.
Authors:Skilling, Liam
Contributors:Education (department)
Date Issued:May 2018
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:Current research shows that students in foster care face numerous obstacles to
educational success. Some educationally resilient students nonetheless exceed expectations in
terms of academic achievement. This study examined the educational experiences of students in
foster care in Hawaiʻi and the role played by key adult supporters and advocates. The study also
explored the themes that emerge from the participants narratives of educational success and
This qualitative case study was based on interviews with eight educationally resilient
young adults between the ages of 18 and 25, who attended elementary, middle or high school
while in foster care. The semi-structured, narrative interviews invited participants to tell their
stories and ascribe meaning to events according to their own perspectives. In keeping with the
qualitative design of the study, patterns and themes were allowed to emerge organically from the
Findings suggest that even educationally resilient students in foster care experienced
academic and behavioral fluctuations at school and that periods of difficulty at school tended to
correlate with disruptions the students faced in relation to their foster care status. School
placement changes had a negative impact, both academically and socio-emotionally, on the
participants. Conversely, maintaining a preferred school placement was a key element in the
educational success narratives of several of the participants.
While supportive adults played an important role in the educational success of all the
participants, most of the participants did not identify classroom teachers as key supporters. The
findings suggest that lack of knowledge and information may have limited the capacity of
teachers as advocates and supporters. The findings also show that the participants’ narratives
contained certain common themes, including positivity, agency, goal setting, and resilient
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2018.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Education

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