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Children educated in residential placements and mental health treatment settings often experience gaps in their schooling, receive fewer hours of education than public school students, and fail to receive necessary special education supports. All of these factors make it even more likely that these children will fall behind or drop out of school. Despite the growing number of children placed in these programs, there is very little known about the quality or quantity of the education services they receive.
Through her Emerging Leader Fellowship, Arley Styer worked with Education Law Center to examine the educational experiences and barriers of children and youth in dependent care who have spent time in residential placements. Arley gathered qualitative data directly from youth via focus groups, interviews, and surveys. She developed a report and recommendations for state agencies, local advocacy groups, private providers, and courts to improve educational outcomes for youth in residential placements.