Educational Opportunities for Youth in Foster Care
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): SBIR Phase I - Post Secondary Educational Opportunities for Youth in Foster Care This project will produce and pilot the use of a multimedia integrated informational system (DVD and text, CD Rom, and Web-based site) that specifically targets foster youths and their caregivers/foster parents regarding available opportunities for planning, applying, and paying for post secondary educational opportunities. This application is focused on foster youths in their middle and high school years (7th-12th grades) and providing those youths with information and resources that can enable them to make post secondary educational opportunities a reality. The materials developed will promote advocacy for post secondary educational support by youths themselves and the adults who shelter, advise, and mentor them. The use of each of the media approaches (DVD and text, CD-Rom, Internet Website) for reaching these target groups will be tracked and data gathered to determine the ability of these groups to access and use computers, the Internet, and multimedia materials in a range of settings (urban and rural). Data will be gathered to assist in determining the feasibility of using the latest multimedia approaches to reach a diverse population that might be limited in its ability to access the entry portals for these technologies. A feasibility study will be conducted during Phase I to pilot test a prototype multimedia package for preparing foster care youths and their caregivers to utilize information on accessing vocational/college programs after high school (post secondary educational opportunities). Data will be gathered on the target groups' understanding, ability, and history of accessing computers, DVD and CD-Rom hardware, and the Internet. Early access to information and resources will serve to raise expectations among foster youths and the adults surrounding them that some form of post secondary education is an achievable goal. The higher rate of health and mental health problems experienced by foster youths after they have left care has been correlated with low educational outcomes. Foster youths have greater difficulty transitioning to the community after care than youths transitioning from home in the general population. This project is intended to enhance these youths chances of surviving in a more healthy way after transition.
Small Business Information at Submission:
INDEPENDENT LIVING RESOURCES, INC.
INDEPENDENT LIVING RESOURCES 411 ANDREWS RD, STE 230 DURHAM, NC 27705
Number of Employees: