The Effects of Foster Care on High School Graduation Rates

The Effects of Foster Care on High School Graduation RatesFacing Adversity

A child who is put in foster placement faces the same challenges as his or her peers but often lacks the support needed to overcome them. Not surprisingly, foster children can suffer from emotional, developmental, and cognitive delays. Ultimately, this can prevent them from keeping pace with their peers. Perhaps one of the more troubling consequences of these effects is the lower high school graduation rate seen consistently across foster child populations.

Finishing on Time

Abuse, neglect, separation or alienation from parents, and lack of permanency can affect a child’s ability to graduate high school on time. The lack of support and stability make it difficult to face and overcome the many challenges of high school life and early adulthood. Frequent transfers between schools can put foster children months behind in their studies each time they change living arrangements. Lower parental involvement increases the likelihood of absenteeism, and more foster children slip through the cracks when foster parents, teachers, and school administrators repeatedly change. Given these measures, it’s no wonder only about half of foster children will graduate high school on time, compared to a national average of more than 80%.

These numbers are not acceptable, but the challenges that prevent foster children from graduating on time are very real and difficult to avoid. In light of these circumstances, the benefits of foster placement must outweigh the costs before a child is separated from his or her parents.

A Short-Term Solution With Long-Term Costs

It’s important to understand foster placement is meant to be a temporary solution to a complex problem. Children shouldn’t be put in a temporary living situation long-term because they need stability to thrive. Unfortunately, the inefficiencies of New Jersey’s foster care system can result in foster placements that are longer than necessary. Thus, if a caseworker promises your child will only be in foster placement for a short period of time, you might need legal guidance. Speak with an experienced New Jersey child welfare defense attorney about your rights and the rights of your child. Foster placement is supposed to be a last resort. If you feel caseworkers are violating your rights and making decisions that aren’t in your child’s best interests, you may want to consider working with an attorney to challenge the agency’s decisions.

Are you involved in child welfare litigation? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can advise you of your rights and help you defend yourself against the DCP&P. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.

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