Journal article

Issues and challenges for service agencies in monitoring educational outcomes for children in out-of-home care

Children institutional care Education Foster care School attendance Out-of-home care Child protection Australia


Children in out-of-home care (OOHC) experience a number of adverse educational outcomes, including lower attainment and fewer years of schooling; and they are less likely than their peers to remain in education and training after 16 years of age. Children in OOHC are being left behind in educational settings. This is worrying as education can provide the gateway to future life opportunities and a way for them to escape the adverse circumstances which brought them into care. Agencies supporting children in OOHC aim to ameliorate these negative outcomes. The barriers to good educational outcomes for children in OOHC are well documented and include systemic factors over which a support agency has little control. In order to monitor the effectiveness of an agency in supporting children in OOHC, it is essential to monitor the elements of service provision that are influenced by agency inputs rather than systemic or institutional factors. This article will outline potential ways in which agencies can effectively monitor their impact on children's lives.

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