Youth Law T.E.A.M. of Indiana, Inc.
a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization

Influencing positive systemic change in youth's legal issues in the juvenile justice, education and child welfare systems within Indiana.
Court Improvement Program in Collaboration with State CASA/GAL
1800 N. Meridian Street, Suite 410   Indianapolis, Indiana  46202
Phone: (317) 916-0786   Fax: (317) 916-5369
A basic education is essential to living an independent, fulfilling life.  Yet many children enter adulthood without this important ingredient for success.  Children in out-of-home care face extra challenges.

  1. About 46% of children in foster care do not have a high school diploma or GED.  [Cook, R.J., Are we helping foster care youth prepare for the future?  Children and Youth Services Review, 16 (3/4), p. 213-229 (1994)]

  1. When students change schools, they lose an average of 4-6 months of educational progress. [Yu, E. Day, P. and Williams, M. Improving Educational Outcomes for Youth in Care, CWLA Press Washington, D.C. (2002)]

  1. Children and youth in foster care are 2-3 times more likely than other students to have disabilities that affect their ability to learn. [Courtney, M.E. & Piliquin, I. The Wisconsin Study of Youth Ageing Out of Out-of-Home Care:  A Protrait of Children About to Leave Care (1998)]

  1. School officials often fail to identify the special needs of students who experience changes in caregivers or schools.

  1. The uncertainty of home and family situations can profoundly affect a student's ability to focus in school.

  1. Many children and youth who are in foster care have been victims of abuse and neglect that affect their ability to do well in school.

Every child or youth needs an advocate to help overcome barriers to educational attainment. Through the Youth Law T.E.A.M. of Indiana's Education Advocacy Project, Indiana courts overseeing CHINS proceedings will have an additional resource available to assist them in ensuring the educational needs of youth under their care are being met.  This project will provide CASA/GAL's tools to help children and families involved in the child welfare system navigate the often complicated and complex education system. The Education Advocacy manuals, trainings, checklists, and other materials provided will focus on those sometimes difficult and unique educational issues and challenges faced by students who are in foster care, group homes, relative care, and other situations where they may not have a natural parent helping them. Additionally, these same tools will be made available to parents, families, and others as children transition to a  permanency option and court supervision ends.