Improving Educational Outcomes for Youth in Congregate Care

The Challenge

Too often, youth involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems who are placed in institutional settings known as “congregate care” experience adverse educational outcomes. The common challenges they face include: frequent changes in school placement, poor quality educational services, difficulty attaining and transferring academic credits, and obstacles to re-enrollment after returning from out-of-home placement. Young people’s academic progress suffers due to the lack of clear accountability and uniform standards for educational quality at congregate care facilities.

The Project

Through her Stoneleigh Fellowship, Kasey Thompson collaborated with the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, system partners, and key stakeholders to identify and develop solutions to systemic barriers that impact educational progress for youth who are placed in congregate care.

The Stoneleigh Fellowship enabled Kasey to:

  • Analyze the educational trajectories of youth currently in, or recently discharged from, congregate care.
  • Develop and test new strategies to minimize barriers to youth’s education and return from congregate care.
  • Develop new contract requirements related to education at congregate care facilities as well as corresponding monitoring and evaluation metrics.

Kasey Thompson, MS

Stoneleigh Fellow


Philadelphia Department of Human Services

Current Position

Program Officer
Philadelphia Foundation


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