Students in foster care struggle with traumas that interfere with their ability to learn—including the trauma of family separation as well as traumatic events such as abuse, neglect, or bereavement that led to their placement in foster care. Following the success of The Foundling’s Road to Success tutoring program for youth in foster care with The Foundling, we chose to extend the comprehensive, one-on-one tutoring model to students throughout New York City’s foster care system.
Like The Foundling’s Road to Success program for young people in foster care with The Foundling, Road to Success – Citywide connects young people, focusing on 7th, 8th and 9th grade students, with long-term one-on-one tutors who assist them in completing their requirements to succeed in school and graduate high school, with a goal of applying for college. Tutoring takes place for 1-2 hours each week in the student’s home or nearby in the community and is provided to young people in foster care with other social service agencies in New York City.
In 2019, New York City showed its support for Fair Futures, an advocacy effort to support young people in foster care by providing funding for coaches and academic support as they approach adulthood. Though Fair Futures does not yet provide enough funding to support tutors for all young people in foster care, The Foundling determined that the need was too great to wait. As a result, we launched Road to Success – Citywide to provide tutors to work with students across a wide range of academic areas, who are rigorously vetted and trained to deliver outstanding instruction while creating a patient, engaging, and supportive environment for students. While the bulk of tutoring time is spent on academic content, tutors also serve as mentors to their students, modeling positive academic behaviors, assisting in the development of organizational and self-advocacy skills, and fostering persistence and resilience.