Chapter 6Campus Policy Recommendations
Higher education institutions can encourage the college success of foster youth by addressing the following question: Who on campus will be responsible for providing leadership and support to this specific student population? To promote accountability, enhance matriculation, and improve educational outcomes, schools should consider designating a Foster Youth Campus Liaison to assume this important role on every campus.
Staff assigned to this liaison position will provide expertise and service coordination to ensure that students with a foster care background are supported by each department they encounter on campus. Similar to a concierge, the liaison works to ensure that students are interacting with knowledgeable staff in each department to ease and encourage successful navigation of various tasks.
It is recommended that liaisons be mid-to-high level administrators focused on working collaboratively across campus departments to support students whenever administrative barriers arise. Ideally, the liaison would identify and work closely with other staff within each of the institution’s departments that regularly interact with youth in care (i.e., financial aid, enrollment, housing, opportunity programs). This teaming approach is a best practice as it creates a valuable network of deeply knowledgeable and supportive professionals ready to address the diverse needs of current and former foster youth. The liaison is not expected to provide individualized academic advisement, but instead connects students to the appropriate department leads, who in turn, offer direct support and interventions for students.
Finally, the Foster Youth Campus Liaison is well positioned to oversee data management and reporting to keep campus leadership updated on the number of students with foster care experience enrolled at any given time, and potentially sharing their academic outcomes.