The academic status of children and youth in out-of-home care: A review of the literature

Alexandra L. Trout, Jessica Hagaman, Kathryn Casey, Robert Reid, Michael H. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

175 Scopus citations


This literature review examined the status of the published research on the academic and school functioning behaviors of students in out-of-home care. Twenty-nine studies were identified and evaluated to assess the (a) characteristics of the children and youth studied, (b) academic and school functioning areas evaluated, (c) reports of overall academic performance, and (d) quality of the reported research. Results suggest that overall, children in out in out-of-home care demonstrate several academic risks across placement settings and academic areas. However, despite an increase in attention to the academic functioning of this population, significant limitations in the published literature exist. For example, incomplete reporting of student information, inadequate research on specific academic skill sets, and limited numbers of studies reporting school functioning behavior narrow our understanding of the specific academic strengths and limitations of this population, and further hinder our abilities to develop targeted intervention programs. Study limitations, implications, and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-994
Number of pages16
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Family foster care
  • Kinship care
  • Out-of-home care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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