Youth in grades K–12 who have been placed inout-of-home care or are receiving services fromthe Department of Social and Health Services(DSHS) Children’s Administration are eligible toreceive services from an Educational Advocate.Typically, a caseworker, foster parent, or socialworker who identifies an education-relatedconcern will make a referral to the program.DSHS contracts with Treehouse, a private, non-profit agency, to coordinate and administer theprogram.
Treehouse first started theEducational Advocacy program throughout KingCounty in 2001.For the statewide program, Treehouse staffscreen the referrals and track progress of theadvocacy efforts. Statewide referrals started in2006, when Treehouse received the contract toreplicate the advocacy program in all six DSHSregions. Each year, between 900 and 1,450students receive assistance from an EACthrough this program (Exhibit 1).
Number of Student With Educational Advocate:2006–2010 School Years
2006–07 1,165 1542007–08 1,445 1402008–09 1,125 1472009–10 915 1382010–11 997 158
Students may remain engaged with anadvocate for several school years. Over thecourse of the study period, there were 3,649students in the program. Exhibit 2 shows thenumber of new entrants by school year.
Due to different selection criteria, participation numbersreported by the program may differ slightly from totalsreported here.
Enrollment Status of Students at Program Entry:2006–2010 School Years
School YearProgramIntakesIntakesWith SchoolRecords
2006–07* 983 7942007–08* 809 6952008–09 619 5462009–10 586 5052010–11 652 n/a
Total 3,649 2,540
* Program eligibility rules changed at the end of the2007–08 school year to give greater priority to youth inout-of-home (foster) care.
Under a data sharing agreement with the Officeof Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)and the DSHS Children’s Administration, wewere able to obtain information on the fostercare and school background of students in theeducational advocacy program.
School datafor students enrolled during the 2010–11 schoolyear were unavailable for this analysis. Wewere able to obtain information for 85 percent(n=2,540) of the students who were servedbefore this school year (see Exhibit 2).We did utilize program information to examinecharacteristics of youth in the study and thosewho could not be included. There were no(statistically) significant differences in gender,age, placement status (foster/group/relative), oreducational status (general/special education)between study and non-study youth. Exhibit 3(next page) shows the total students in thestudy (n=2,540) by grade level, and indicatesthat male students represent a higherpercentage of the program population foryounger students (elementary and middleschool). Males and females are representedequally among high school-age participants.
All study procedures were approved by the DSHSHuman Research Review Board. Program records werematched to school enrollment data by OSPI staff, whoremoved personally identifiable information from theresearch dataset.