In April, FosterEd and partners launched Equal Futures , a web-based set of tools and resources to support school districts, county offices of education, child welfare agencies, community-based organizations, and other agencies that seek to improve educational outcomes for foster youth in California. Developed in collaboration with the Stuart Foundation’s Education Equals Partnership and i.e. communications, the website draws on our lessons learned from several years of implementation of the FosterEd model in Santa Cruz County. Santa Cruz County is our California demonstration site and one of four demonstration counties for the Education Equals Partnership. The website also reflects experiences and lessons learned in the other three Education Equals Partnership demonstration counties — Sacramento, Orange, and Fresno — and in other California jurisdictions that are working to improve the educational outcomes of students in care.
Equal Futures includes tools and resources related to all aspects of designing and implementing a robust program to improve educational outcomes for foster youth at the local level. Sections include building the oversight team, setting program strategy, staffing, using data, identifying funding, identifying student strengths and needs, education case planning, educational teaming, educational champions, and evaluation and program improvement. The website can serve as a critical resource for counties and school districts that are interested in implementing aspects of the FosterEd and Education Equals Partnership models.
Equal Futures will also continue to be updated with additional resources produced by foster youth education advocates, to assist California agencies with ongoing implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula , a 2013 law that restructured the way the State funds education and that contains a number of groundbreaking provisions aimed at improving the outcomes of foster youth.