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Please  Support  SB  15-­‐131  

Fostering  Success  Collaborative  For  Foster  Youth  
Senator  Linda  Newell/Representative  Pettersen

Scary  Statistics:    
▪ Youth  being  touched  by  the  child  welfare  system  are  twice  as  likely  to  not  graduate  from  
high  school  or  college,  and  twice  as  likely  to  end  up  in  the  criminal  juvenile  justice  
system,  and  more  likely  to  end  up  receiving  life-­‐long  beneAits  from  the  state,  costing  the  
state  an  average  of  over  $300,000  per  child  over  his/her  lifetime.  
▪ 84%  of  17-­‐18  year  old  foster  youth  want  to  go  to  college,  but  only  about  2%  of  
former  foster  youth  attain  a  bachelor’s  degree.    
▪ Because  students  from  foster  care  are  often  dealing  with  continuing  barriers  to  a  post-­‐
secondary  education,  they  often  take  much  longer  to  graduate  and  often  have  a  higher  
need  for  remedial  education  going  into  college,  thus  paying  for  excess  credits,  adding  to  
the  usual  college  costs  of  other  students.    
▪ Youth  coming  from  foster  care  have  higher  support  needs  to  achieve  independent  living  
due  to  numerous  Adverse  Childhood  Experiences  (ACEs).  
▪ Students  from  foster  care  drop  out  earlier  in  their  educational  careers  than  other  
▪ 17-­‐18  year  olds  in  foster  care,  on  average,  have  a  7th  grade  reading  level  
▪ Foster  youth  are  2.5  to  3.5  times  as  likely  as  other  students  to  receive  special  education.  
▪ Only  50%  of  foster  youth  complete  high  school  by  18.  
▪ Less  than  28%  of  Colorado  students  who  were  in  foster  care  during  high  school  graduated  
within  4  years  of  entering  9th  grade.  
▪ Helping  to  get  to  self-­‐sufAiciency,  completing  any  college  would  raise  foster  youth’s  work-­‐
life  earnings  by  $129,000  on  average.  
Solution/Bill  Components:  
▪ College  in  Colorado  would  facilitate  a  public/private  multi-­‐agency,  multi-­‐organizational  
Fostering  Success  Collaborative  to  align  educational  and  support  services  for  certain  
youth  currently  or  formerly  in  the  care  of  the  state  and  victims  of  human  trafAicking  to  
transition  to  higher  education  or  job  development  training.  
▪ The  Collaborative  would  consist  of  representatives  from  the  departments  of  Higher  
Education,  Human  Services,  Education,  Labor  and  Employment,  representatives  from  
county  social  services  associations,  the  Colorado  Work  Force  Development  Council,  and  
the  OfAice  of  the  Governor,  and  non-­‐proAits  and  foundations.  
▪ For  youths  to  experience  a  successful  transition  to  self-­‐sufAiciency  and  independent  living,  
the  Collaborative  will  align  and  integrate  secondary  and  postsecondary  education,  child  
welfare,  and  workforce  development  efforts  across  agencies,  systems,  and  programs  and  
make  recommendations  to  the  General  Assembly.  
▪ Design  a  plan  for  Fostering  Success  and  scholarship  programs  at  public  institutions  of  
higher  education  with  academic  advisement  and  coaching  support;  
▪ Authorizes  the  receipt  and  distribution  of  gifts,  grants,  and  donations.    

Please  Support  SB  15-­‐131  
Fostering  Success  Collaborative  For  Foster  Youth  
Senator  Linda  Newell/Representative  Pettersen

There  are  21  other  states  with  similar  programs  including  Arizona,  Alaska,  Kansas,  Texas,  Ohio,  
North  Carolina,  Washington,  Michigan,  California,  Maryland,  Illinois,  Iowa,  Michigan,  and  Virginia.  
They  have  all  formed  some  type  of  higher  education  and  child  welfare  collaboration  to  improve  
postsecondary  outcomes  for  these  students.    Although  each  of  these  states  has  taken  on  this  
system’s  work  in  different  ways,  they  all  understand  that  higher  education  and  child  welfare  need  
to  work  closely  together  to  improve  postsecondary  education  outcomes  for  young  adults  coming  
from  foster  care  experiences.  
Sources:  NCSL  and  Casey  Family  Programs  

Supporters  of  SB  15-­‐131  
Department  of  Higher  Education  
Metro  State  University  
Aims  Community  College  
Colorado  Coalition  Against  Sexual  Assault  
Rocky  Mountain  Children’s  Law  Center  
Court  Appointed  Special  Advocates  
Colorado  OfAice  of  the  Child’s  Representative