Foster care and higher education has been an emerging field since the inception of the first campus-based support program at California State University-Fullerton in 1998. Over the more than 20 years that have passed since that time, the number of campus-based support programs has grown to the current estimate of 150+ programs on two- and four-year campuses in over half of the states. As campus-based support programs grew, so did the need for statewide coordinating organizations. These organizations, commonly referred to as “backbone organizations”, provide the functions of coordinating best practices across campuses, convening stakeholders to continue the development of education pathways for this population, advocating for state-level policies, and aligning investment of state departments. These statewide backbone programs have grown rapidly over the last 10 years and are now organized into the Fostering Academic Achievement Nationwide (FAAN) network
Purpose: Convening a network of leaders, sharing state to state best practices, and accelerating the national discussion on foster care and postsecondary educational attainment policy and practice.
Membership: Participating organizations, groups, individual leaders who serve as the backbone support (i.e. coordinating body) for a collaborative/statewide/regional effort to increase equity in postsecondary education attainment for students who have experience in foster care.
Vision: Accelerating the national conversation to increase equity in postsecondary educational attainment* for students who have experience in foster care.
*By Postsecondary Educational Attainment we mean: The completion of high-quality credential beyond a high school diploma including a trade certificate, Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, and higher professional degrees.