Education Outcomes of WA Students in Foster Care

September, 2021
September, 2021

Washington state statute (RCW 28A.300.525) requires the Education Research & Data Center (ERDC) to report on the educational outcomes of children under the placement, care, and authority of a child welfare agency and what school districts are having success or challenges in helping this student group. These students are also referred to as children in out-of-home care, but this report will use the language “students in foster care” as this is the most commonly used and recognized terminology.

This study answered the following research questions:
• What are the educational experiences and progress of Washington students who are in foster care?
• What are the characteristics of school districts where students in foster care attend in relation to student outcomes?


This report does not include students in Tribal Child Welfare or Federal Foster Care.  "Out-of-home care" means placement in a foster family home or group care facility licensed pursuant to chapter 74.15 RCW or placement in a home, other than that of the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian, not required to be licensed pursuant to chapter 74.15 RCW (RCW 13.34.030).