SEATTLE, PRNewswire/ — Treehouse, which gives youth in foster care a childhood and a future, announced its highest ever on-time graduation for the Class of 2018 at 69 percent. The previous high was 68 percent, matched last year.
Nationally, less than 50 percent of youth in foster care graduate from high school by age 18. In Washington the numbers are even lower with 43 percent of youth statewide graduating with their original class and 49 percent in five years, known as the extended rate. The overall rates for every youth in the state are 79 percent on time and 82 percent extended.
Treehouse’s latest extended rate for the class of 2017 is 82 percent in its Graduation Success program, matching the rate for all students.
“Our youth are the most resilient people you will ever meet. I am so proud of their success as they learn to set and achieve small manageable goals en route to accomplishing bigger plans such as graduating, going to college or trade school,” said Janis Avery, CEO of Treehouse.
The average youth in foster care changes placements three times, and with each move, they lose four to six months of academic progress. Part coach, part parent and frequently part best friend, Treehouse’s Education Specialists meet with their middle school and high school students weekly, even during the summer. The students take charge of their own futures by setting goals, making plans and advocating for themselves.
Treehouse in Washington
Treehouse serves more than 7,000 youth statewide across all of its programs. There are between 9,000 and 10,000 youth in foster care at any time of all ages in Washington. The number of schools with youth in Graduation Success continues to grow with 219 schools and 986 students in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane counties. That’s up from 165 schools and 762 students in 2017.
The program is expanding statewide over the next five years. The nonprofit’s goal is by 2022, youth in foster care across Washington state will graduate from high school at the same rate as their peers, with support and a plan to launch successfully into adulthood.
Without a high school diploma and a plan for their future, youth in foster care experience disproportionately high rates of poverty, homelessness, incarceration, early parenting and substance abuse.
Included in Treehouse’s rates are students who received their GED.
Founded in 1988, Treehouse is Washington’s leading nonprofit organization addressing the academic and other essential support needs of youth in foster care. More than 7,000 youth each year prosper through programs that focus on their academic success, fulfill key material needs and provide important experiences every child deserves. Learn more at www.treehouseforkids.org.