Special Education Experiences of Older Foster Youth With Disabilities: An Analysis of Administrative Data


Social Work

Date of this version


Document Type



aging, out-of-foster care, foster care, education


Using state administrative data, this study explores the experience of older youth with disabilities in out-of-home placement in the special education system. Findings indicate that these youth differ demographically and have lower rates of school completion than their peers with disabilities in the general population. Of particular concern is the isolation of these youth into more segregated special education settings versus settings that encourage greater peer and school involvement. However, high attendance rates for these youth indicate they experience a consistent connection with school. Thus, schools may be well positioned to serve as a connection point for child welfare and special education services in preparing these young people for adulthood.

Published in

Journal of Public Child Welfare