Arley Styer, MSW


Arley Styer joined the Education Law Center (ELC) as a Stoneleigh Foundation Emerging Leader Fellow to examine the educational experiences of children taught in group homes, residential treatment facilities (RTF) and day mental health treatment programs. Many of the children and youth at these facilities have behavioral disorders, including emotional disturbances, learning disabilities, or substance abuse issues. A high percentage of these children are also involved in either the juvenile justice or child welfare systems, or both. In  2007, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania placed almost 4,400 children in 51 RTFs throught the state, more than any other state in the United States.

Although many of these children could be attending regular schools, they are often educated on the grounds of these facilities. In addition, many of them encounter barriers that increase the risk of falling behind or dropping out, such as a lack of needed special education or too few hours of schooling. Arley will be working to collect quantitative and qualitiative data on these populations to develop and advocate for state and local policy and practice changes.

Arley worked at People's Emergency Center as an intern conducting research on the value of early education and intervention for homeless children in Philadelphia.  In addition, Arley has worked with underserved children and youth in othereducational and community settings.

A dual degree Masters candidate in Social Service and Law and Social Policy, Arley expects to graduate from the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College in May 2010. She attended Ursinus College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 2006.

MOVING THE DIAL: A Report on Education Experiences of Children in Pennsylvania Residential Treatment Facilities