One Foster Girl’s Story
Every morning at 7 a.m., Ariana Diller* begins her two-hour journey to school. However, it’s not the anticipation of a test or build-up of homework that occupies her mind on the way there.
It’s the apprehension of returning home.
Diller is a part of the foster care system and faces struggles that are uncommon for others her age. She lives in a group home with four other girls, all of whom have been subjected to various forms of neglect and abuse.
Like many in the system, her journey has been filled with painful complications.
After enduring a damaging home life for the majority of her childhood, Diller entered the foster care system at the age of 14. As she switched from home to home during her freshman year of high school, she struggled to adjust to her new life.
“It was difficult to go from being in a home with my parents to dealing with changing living circumstances and being surrounded by strangers,” Diller said…
According to a factsheet by the National Working Group on Foster Care and Education, “There is overwhelming evidence that children and youth in care are a vulnerable population in our public education system. The achievement gap between youth in care and the general population is staggering, with youth in care trailing their peers in standardized test performance, high school graduation rates, and the likelihood of attaining post-secondary education.”
Mark Courtney, a professor at the School of Social Service Administration and an expert on outcomes for children in foster care, said that students in foster care who try to pursue college and are behind academically are far more likely to drop out.
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