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Foster Care and Higher Education



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From foster care to congress: Memoirs of three congressional staffers.

Day, Salazan, Romero There is nothing that gives you more drive and passion to undertake a critical advocacy effort than being personally affected by it. We are all federal legislative staffers who were placed in foster care due to abuse or neglect. Although our stories herald from different parts of the country (Michigan, New York and Washington) our experiences seem to be more similar than different. All three of us chose school as the venue to cope with the aftermath of placement moves and family losses. All three of us had schools where we received positive affirmations and support at the K-12 and higher education levels, with A+ mentors within the schools we attended.

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Proposed federal higher education act increases support for foster youth

The Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act, re-introduced late last year, would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to focus on homeless and foster youth, bringing changes that would address ongoing barriers to higher education for this population.

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Experts: Michigan's Foster Children Vulnerable to ID Theft



October 19, 2015
​LANSING, Mich. – Identity thieves don't discriminate when it comes to the age of their victims, and experts say foster children are a prime target for fraud. 

Angelique Day, who works with former foster youths at Wayne State University, says as foster children make their way through the child welfare system, many people have access to their personal information. She says ID theft can be a roadblock on the path to adulthood."Young people who are transitioning from foster care to college were struggling to be able to obtain a rental housing agreement because of this identity theft and had restrictions on their financial aid because of poor credit," she explains.



For Foster Kids, Bus Tickets Don't Solve Transportation Woes

AUGUST 14, 2015

PictureTransportation isn’t just an issue in rural areas of the state like Berrien County, where Alex was 20 miles away from everything. It can be a huge barrier for folks who live in the city, too - like Amber Thomas. I met Thomas at the Wayne County KidSpeak Event  in Detroit. The event provides young people the opportunity to address local, state, and federal decision makers and share what they would like to see done differently for kids in Michigan’s foster care system. When Thomas took the stand, she was wearing professional clothes - black dress pants and a bright red, striped sweater - and was prepared with notes to speak. She took no time at all to describe what she has consistently struggled with since leaving foster care: finding safe, reliable transportation.

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Research Group Shopping Plan to Evaluate Impact of Federal College Grants to Foster Youths 

JULY 31, 2014

A group of researchers has put together a plan to gauge the impact of federal college grants to current and former foster youth, and is currently seeking funding and research partners in multiple states. The group – which includes Wayne State social work professor Angelique Day, Amy Dworsky of Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago and Amy Salazar at the University of Washington – already has eight states on board to participate, and that they are geographically diverse enough to proceed if no other state expresses interest...

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Foster Youth Share Experiences, Ideas for System Reform with Policymakers

Today @ Wayne
August 12, 2013

Youth aging out of Michigan’s foster care system gathered on Wayne State’s campus last week to give raw, emotional testimony to state policymakers eager to hear suggestions for reform... The youth spoke at a KidSpeak® listening panel held on Aug. 12 in the WSU Law School’s Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium. The panel was co-sponsored by Wayne Law, the School of Social Work, Voices for Michigan’s Children and Foster Care Alumni of America – Michigan Chapter. Taking turns at the microphone, foster youth told state legislators, state department heads, academics and nonprofit leaders about the difficulties they experienced due to unstable placements, separation from siblings, and the abrupt, unforecasted termination of benefits that left many struggling to find food and shelter. But many also expressed gratitude for footholds they gained along the way, such as a helpful mentor, a loving foster parent, or an academic or sports scholarship...

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Spotlight on National Foster Care Month Higher Education Aids Transition to Independence

The Children's Bureau Express
May, 2013

As of December 2011, the State of Michigan was overseeing the care of 13,893 children in out-ofhome care, the seventh highest foster care population in the United States. A critical area of concern for those who work with this population is supporting youth who age out of foster care, a group that typically struggles to attend and graduate from college. A new program at Wayne State University (WSU) aims to improve higher education retention and graduation rates for transitioning youth...

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Federal Agency Shines National Spotlight on Wayne State University Foster Youth Retention Program

April 26, 2013

Wayne State University’s Transition to Independence Program (TIP), an initiative developed by the School of Social Work to help students aging out of foster care thrive in their studies, will be featured during Foster Care Awareness Month in a publication of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The May issue of Children’s Bureau Express, which is read by nearly 23,000 child welfare professionals nationwide, will profile the program as part of what School of Social Work Assistant Professor and TIP Director Angelique Day calls Wayne State’s “institutional reaction” to the serious educational challenges faced by Wayne County’s foster youth population, which is by far the state’s largest...

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Seeking Change in the Foster Care System


OCTOBER 22, 2012

kids holding handsThis week on Seeking Change, Christina Shockley talks with Angelique Day about the foster care system. Day grew up in foster care. She now focuses her work on researching and helping children in foster care in the state. Day teaches Social Work at Wayne State University. She also works with Vista Maria, a non-profit treatment agency in Dearborn Heights for neglected and abused children. The organization offers a range of services for foster kids. It has a residential school for girls, and it serves as a support network for young adults as they age out of the foster care system.

WSU Offers Foster Care Support

October 22, 2012

The Michigan Department of Human Services has partnered with Wayne State through a three-year contract that will provide WSU with $340,197 to create a hub of support by providing foster youth with assistance for a successful transition to college. Angelique Day, assistant professor of social work at WSU, foster alumna and one of two program leads, said, “Wayne County has the highest population of young people aging out of foster care in the state,” which means that WSU is a prime university to have an assistance program like this in place...

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WSU Receives Contract To Help Foster Kids In College

OCTOBER 16, 2012

wdetThe Wayne State University School of Social Work has received a three-year, $340,197 contract from the Michigan Department of Human Services(DHS) to provide youth transitioning out of foster care with the educational, material and social resources they need to thrive as WSU students. Craig speaks with Dr. Angelique Day, Assistant Professor in the WSU School of Social Work, and Ronald Williford, WSU Student and part of the Wayne County foster system, about what this contract will do for foster kids looking to attend WSU.


Wayne State University receives DHS contract to help foster youth thrive in college 

October 2, 2012 

The Wayne State University School of Social Work has received a three-year, $340,197 contract from the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide youth transitioning out of foster care with the educational, material and social resources they need to thrive as WSU students...

“Wayne County provides child welfare services to nearly half of all foster care youth in the state,” Day said. “We have a duty here at WSU to ensure that these young people have the option to attend college with support.”

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