Give Back hosted its first ever Twitter Chat in March, prompting a Q&A discussion regarding the barriers faced by youth in foster care, and the ways other organizations can provide support for these youth as they pursue a college education.

The twitter chat included five questions, with responses from child welfare and advocacy organizations like Friday is Tie Day, Foster and Adoptive Family Services, CASA and Fostering Success Michigan.

Below are some of the highlights from the conversation. To view the full discussion, check out our Twitter page and our event hashtag, #FosterCare2College.


Question 1: What are some of the barriers that keep youth in foster care from attending college?

  • “A lack of resources and support.”
  • “Small obstacles for any student are amplified for foster youth”
  • “Youth are typically aging out of the system around the same time they would be enrolling in college…and many forego the continued support available in order to be free of the system, leaving them without support.”


Question 2: How can we as a community better support these youth in overcoming these barriers to attending college?

  • Supportive mentoring and connecting these young scholars to resources.”
  • “Having a dedicated person to go to ask questions.”


Question 3: What are some of the resources in your community that support foster youth that desire to attend college?

  • “College scholarship programs or even things as simple as programs to teach them the college application process.”
  • “Equipping public institutions with advocates that identify and help foster youth apply to college and FAFSA.”
  • “CASA advocates stay through a case with their CASA child in foster care through the entirety of the case whether that be reunification or independent living.”
  • Project Myself is designed to help young adults aging out of the New Jersey foster care system improve their academic performance, complete post-secondary education and develop essential life skills and competencies.”


Question 4: Some foster youth don’t get the opportunity to participate in after school events/activities. What are some ways we can keep them involved with events happening after school?

  • Providing transportation always helps youth from difficult situations to locate programming and services along public transportation routes.”
  • There should be a court order or it should be enforced in educational rights of foster youth that transportation is offered for students with these circumstances who want to participate.”
  • “Transportation is one of the largest barriers foster youth face in their transition to adulthood. It impacts every aspect of well-being, and has been an impediment to meeting their education and employment goals.”
  • Making sure communication with the social worker and the foster parent is clear and in advance so transportation issues and/or other issues can be addressed prior to the event/activity.”


Question 5: Preparation for classes can be the difference between foster youth succeeding academically or falling behind. What resources are there available to help foster youth be prepared for school?

  • “Graduation Success is Treehouse’s youth-centric academic program that works one-on-one with students to create an individualized high school graduation plan as well as build problem-solving and self-advocacy skills.”
  • “Pre-college programs are a necessity for 1st Gen and marginalized populations. They help students adjust academically as well as socially to life in college.”
  • “Writing a cover letter, submitting the FAFSA as an independent student, having a concrete support to check-in with – these are just some of the examples of what ACES provides.”

We’d like to thank the participating organizations for providing their insight and taking part in this critical discussion. We look forward to working together to support foster youth as they work to pursue a brighter future.


Additional Resources from the Twitter Chat: