OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Foster Youths’ Perceptions of Social Worker’s Roles in Their Pursuit of Higher Education


This qualitative study addresses the experiences of 15 foster youth, ages 18-25 from CSUSB Educational Opportunity Program, Renaissance Scholars in preparing and pursuing a higher education. Participants had the opportunity to share if their current or former social worker played a role in their pursuit towards education, if their social workers provided them with information and resources about higher education, and their recommendations for increasing foster youth access to higher education. Understanding the role social workers played in the lives of foster youth can help provide more insight into what services can be enhanced or implemented to better prepare foster youth for post-secondary education. Although, the majority of youth transitioning from foster care to adulthood aspire to achieve a higher education, they often face barriers and lack a support system. The difficult experiences foster youth face throughout their childhood also make them vulnerable to mental health problems, homelessness, unemployment, and poverty. In the United States, only 50% of foster youth graduate from high school. About 13% of foster youth enter college and only 3% graduate. Therefore, it is important that foster youth have the opportunity to share their experiences and perspectives to ensure that they are provided with the support, resources, and opportunities to be successful.

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