Evaluation of Policies, Procedures, and Practices Affecting the Education of Children Residing in Group Homes

The purpose of this project was to conduct a study of the education received by youth residing in licensed children's institutions (group homes) throughout California. The study provided specific recommendations about interrelated issues affecting the education of youth in group homes and a detailed road map for improving services for this population.

The primary thrust of the study was to collect and analyze data about policies and administrative procedures and practices affecting the education of youth in group homes. A three-pronged research design was created to focus on 1) fiscal arrangements, 2) policies and procedures at the state level, and 3) implementation of policies and procedures at the county level. The data collection and analysis was in sufficient detail to precisely identify problems with the policies and procedures, to determine the causes and effects of problems identified, and to develop recommendations for redesigning the policies, procedures, and practices.

AIR put forth eleven recommendations to address the challenges that currently face youth in group homes. These recommendations include changes in statute, regulations, and administrative policies at the state level; changes in state funding formulas and funding levels; and procedural changes at the state and local levels. The audience for the study includes the California Department of Education, state and local policymakers including the Legislature and state agencies, educators and staff of agencies providing services to children and youth, parents, and others concerned with the education of youth residing in group homes.