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SAN JOSE, CA – On Wednesday, April 7, 2021, the Santa Clara County Board of Education adopted a resolution recognizing May as National Foster Care Month. The resolution outlines support for foster youth in education in Santa Clara County, while encouraging community-wide cross-collaboration to help students feel safe and thrive.
There are over 1,206 children and youth in Santa Clara County who are currently in foster care. The Santa Clara County Office of Education provides educational case and care coordination to youth in foster care and is committed to improving their academic and social-emotional outcomes. This focused response addresses vital educational needs, and provides assistance and training to school districts and community stakeholders.
“Foster and homeless youth are among the most vulnerable youth in our communities. This resolution not only reinforces our support for their socio-economic and academic needs, it emphasizes our commitment to improving student equity and ensuring our districts and educational systems are receiving the resources necessary for their academic success,” said Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Mary Ann Dewan.
In 2019, the high school graduation rate for youth in foster care was at fifty-one percent, much lower than their non-foster counterparts at eighty-five percent. Significant disparities have also been identified in employment and income opportunities for youth in the foster care system.
“It is important to acknowledge the significance of this proclamation,” said Santa Clara County Board of Education President, Claudia Rossi. “It is a reminder of the impact of our collective effort and the importance of helping foster youth establish and maintain visibility in our schools and educational system.”
About the Santa Clara County Office of Education
Working collaboratively with school and community partners, the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a regional service agency that provides instructional, business, and technology services to the 31 school districts of Santa Clara County. The County Office of Education directly serves students through special education programs, alternative schools, Head Start and State Preschool programs, migrant education, and Opportunity Youth Academy. The SCCOE also provides academic and fiscal oversight and monitoring to districts in addition to the 22 Santa Clara County Board of Education authorized charter schools.