What opportunities exist in the child welfare system to support college-going behavior of foster care youth?

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Foster care youth face great educational disparities at both the K-12 and post-secondary education levels.  To address these disparities, there has been a surge of college access and retention programs that have been developed across the country to support the post-secondary aspirations of foster care youth. This presentation focuses on findings of one of the first college access and retention programs to be rigorously evaluated in the United States, Wayne State University's Transition to Independence Program (TIP).  Since program implementation (2012), retention rates have moved from 45% (2012) to 75% (2017).  This is on par with other first-generation, low income students who enroll at the University. TIP foster youth were significantly more likely to be retained than foster youth who were not enrolled in the TIP program at WSU. Information will also be shared on federal policy efforts that have been recently introduced to support both the growth and evaluation efforts of these initiatives. 

Learning objectives:

  1. Understand the unique challenges of college enrolled foster youth
  2. Understand what the components of one college retention model are (Wayne State’s Transition to Independence Program)
  3. Understand student use/popularity of each programmatic component
  4. Understand the effectiveness of program model in retaining foster youth and how these foster youth compare to other first generation, low income students in terms of college retention and graduation measures.
  5. Learn about federal policies designed to support college going and retention rates of foster youth.


Angelique Day
Associate Professor of University of Washington School of Social work

Angelique Day received her PhD in interdisciplinary health science in 2011 from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. She earned an MSW from Michigan State University in 2005 and a BS summa cum laude in sociology/psychology from Central Michigan University.  Much of her research focuses on foster care youth, including examining the differences in college retention rates between foster care youth and other low-income first-generation college students, and examining “youth voice” and its impact on child welfare, education and health policy reform. From 2011–2016, she was an assistant professor of social work at Wayne State University, where she taught both undergraduate and graduate classes. She’s been an evaluator, principal investigator or project coordinator on major studies funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and McGregor Fund, among others.  Day has received many awards and honors, including a year-long congressional fellowship awarded during the 2016–2017 academic year by the Society for Research on Child Development and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was assigned to the office of Congressman Danny K. Davis where she helped develop the congressman’s child welfare and higher education legislative portfolios.

Length (hours)





Supervisors, Area Administrators, Social Workers

Audience Description

This training is appropriate for social workers, program managers, supervisors and area administrators

Dates and Locations

There are no trainings scheduled for this course.

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DCYF Alliance What opportunities exist in child welfare system to support college-going behavior of foster care

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Maestro Course Code: 110601