School Mobility for Children in Out-of-Home Placement: Incidence, Educational Outcomes, and Tools for Mitigation
Mienko, Joseph Anthony
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Elevated school mobility (SM) for students in foster care (i.e. out-of-home placement (OHP)) is something that has been previously noted in non-peer-reviewed literature. At some level, this trend is precisely what would be expected. In the absence of a policy seeking to actively prevent SM for students in OHP, removing a student from one home and placing him in another would necessarily place him at increased risk of a school change. While such school changes would be expected to contribute to decreased educational achievement for any student, the combination of such changes in conjunction with the potential social and emotional barriers faced by a student in OHP appears to exacerbate the effects on academic performance for students in OHP compared with the effects of SM on students in the general population. Understanding the phenomenon of SM for students in OHP and policies that can be adopted to combat SM is thus of importance to the fields of education and social work. In spite of the importance of SM for students in OHP, the peer-reviewed literature is nearly silent on this topic. This dissertation seeks to provide a comprehensive analysis of differences in school mobility as a function of OHP status and assess specific policy tools for minimizing SM.