The stakes are high for our youth, our city and our nation. For youth in foster care, the statistics are not in their favor. We want them to graduate. We want them to hold a steady job. We want them to have a supportive family to celebrate these life events. We want them to express their personalities and gifts. We want them to have a full, abundant life. We want them to break free from the generational cycle of foster care in Los Angeles.
We can end this cycle.
One valuable life at a time.
Studies indicate that youth who live in poverty and foster care may be more likely to sleep on the streets and face time in prison. Some struggle to find a decent meal as they worry about schoolwork, poor living standards and broken family relationships. Some choose gang life for support in order to survive on the warring streets of LA. StraightWays seeks to be a light in a dark world where despair and depression can easily overtake a child's desire and ability to succeed. We believe every child deserves to experience freedom from the bind of this limiting system, and we seek to offer hope, justice and mercy to those who are lost within the cycle.
A Word About Sources
Due to the nature of the population, it is very difficult to collect and record data about current and former foster youth. How can you ask a former foster youth now living on the streets to fill out a survey about his or her life situation? How do you accurately track a student's school performance when they are in and out of three schools in two years? What about the students that are in the custody of the state for only a short period of time? This is a problematic process that leads to inaccurate representation of the population and a lack of credible statistical sources. With that said, we would like to list a few studies that we have found helpful in our research.
- "The Invisible Achievement Gap, Part One" by Barrat & Berliner, published in 2013.
- "The Invisible Achievement Gap, Part Two" by Wiegmann, Putnam-Hornstein, Barrat, Magruder & Needell, published in 2014.
- "At Greater Risk: California Foster Youth and the Path from High School to College" by Frerer, Sosenko & Henke, published in March 2013.
- "Data Brief #4: Comparing Outcomes Reported by Young People at ages 17 and 19 in NYTD Cohort 1" by National Youth in Transition Database, published in December 2014.
- "Extended Foster Care (AB12)" by California Legislature passed in 2010.
- "Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth" by Courtney, Dworsky, Hook, Brown, Cary, Love, Vorhies, Lee, Raap, Cusick, Keller, Havlicek, Perez, Terao, Bost, series of outcomes and conditions published between 2004 and 2011.
- "Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth: Outcomes at Ages 23-24, Executive Summary" by Courtney, Dworsky, Lee, Rapp, published in 2010.