Supporting the Needs of Students Involved With the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice System in the School District of Philadelphia.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute. PolicyLab.
Published: June 2014
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia 34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard CHOP North, Room 1535
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4399
In January 2013, PolicyLab at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) was commissioned by the Mayor's Office of Education (MOE), School District of Philadelphia (SDP), Philadelphia School Reform Commission (SRC), and Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) to examine the distribution, concentration, and academic outcomes of youth in Philadelphia's public schools involved with the child welfare and/or juvenile justice system. The research was requested to inform policy decisions intended to improve educational success for youth involved with DHS in Philadelphia. This report presents data from a targeted cross-system review of students in the 3rd, 7th, 9th, and 12th grades from the 2011-2012 academic year across all schools within the SDP. Findings from the review indicate: overall, 17% of students have been involved with the child welfare and/or juvenile justice system; almost half of the high schools in the School District of Philadelphia have more than 100 students ever involved with DHS or more than 20% of the population ever involved with DHS; nearly one in four students ever involved with the child welfare and/or juvenile justice system received special education services, a rate 64% greater than their peers who never had child welfare and/or juvenile justice involvement; educational outcomes and attendance rates were poorer among students ever involved with the child welfare and/or juvenile justice system; students ever involved with DHS are concentrated in Comprehensive and Alternative Education Schools compared to Traditional Charter or Special Admission and Citywide Schools; and educational outcomes vary by school type, but within similar settings, students ever involved with DHS tend to mirror the performance of their peers who never had DHS involvement. (Author abstract modified)
foster children; foster adolescents; crossover youth; juvenile delinquency; academic achievement; school problems; special needs; Pennsylvania