Perceived social support and the path to college: A comparative study of foster care and non-foster care youthedit
Foster care youth have poor educational outcomes and few achieve college degrees. There is limited research on college-enrolled foster care youth, how these youth compare to non-foster care youth and what factors are associated with college-going. This quantitative comparison study of 75 foster care and 65 non-foster care youth identified perceived social support levels using the MSPSS in addition to amounts and sources of social support related to college-going. The participants are New York City youth between 18 and 23 years old, enrolled in public four-year colleges. The foster youth are recipients of Education and Training Vouchers (ETVs). The results show that foster care youth receive significantly less social support for college from biological families but get key support from foster care staff and school staff. The results also show that perceived social support from foster families, encouragement for college and foster care placement type are predictive of total perceived social support.