BENEFITING: Cornerstone Special Education Advocacy
We are seeking to join with the Duval County court system to help develop a program to recruit and train volunteer educational surrogate parents to advocate for children in foster care.
Due to the transient nature of foster care, these children often need special education services but yet don’t fully receive them.
These educational surrogate parents would follow, and advocate, for the foster child throughout their entire education, giving them an access to the same education all other students receive and have a right to.
In a Times Union article by Deirdre Conner Mon, Jan 25, 2010 she states, “When children become wards of the state, a flood of new people come into their lives - investigators, caseworkers, psychologists, guardians and foster parents. But when those children have learning disabilities, none of those people can make important decisions about their education or ask for testing that would get them extra help. Their family lives in upheaval, facing multiple moves and sometimes multiple schools, all foster children are at risk of falling behind in school. Throw in the possibility of having a learning or other disability, and it can be a recipe for disaster.”
Research has shown that across the United States, about 50% of foster children will not finish high school.
Of the other 50% that go on to higher education, close to 98% never finish college.
Where do you imagine those that don't graduate show up? The ugly truth is, usually in a perpetual transient lifestyle.
They oftentimes continually wander from institution to institution, program to program, center to center.
Imagine what it would feel like to intervene and help them gain an appropriate education, allowing them to become independent, self-reliant, individuals that can self-advocate for their needs and become a productive part of society while contributing their gifts and talents to the community.
This is an absolute Win-Win for everyone.