Education Services for Youth in Residential Placements

Emerging Leader Fellow: Arley Styer, 2009-2010

Arley Styer and the Education Law Center (ELC) investigated and analyzed the educational experiences of publicly placed children taught in residential settings and in day mental health treatment programs. Often youth are educated at the facilities, even though they could be attending regular schools. Thus the children often experience gaps in their schooling, receive fewer hours of education than public school students, and are not identified or fail to receive needed special education. All of these factors make it even more likely that these children will fall behind or drop out of school. Despite the growing number of children placed in these programs, there is currently very little known about the quality or quantity of the education services they receive.

Arley analyzed existing state data in order to collect quantitative infomation on the education services provided to children at these facilities, where possible. She also examined qualitative data obtained from surveys and interviews with key informants and stakeholder groups involved with these youth. The data was used to draft a report for the Departments of Education and Public Welfare on new policy recommendations for this population.