Bridging Learning Gaps Experienced by Foster Youth

Bridging Learning Gaps Experienced by Foster Youth

From Lisa Russell

Raising scholarship funds for foster youth who need intensive one-on-one tutoring to bridge learning gaps so they can graduate and become successful adults.

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Hello Friends!

Thank you for taking a few minutes to review our campaign. We're Educational Tutorial Services, an established company that has been providing quality tutoring services to children in foster care since 1996. Our campaign is to pay for intensive one-on-one tutoring sessions for foster youth. Simply put, Educational Tutorial Services bridges the learning gap for foster care youth in grades K-12!


The sad reality is that foster youth are being left behind in this country as well as other communities around the world. In the U.S., approximately 700,000 children are in the foster care system at some point during every twelve month period. On any given day, the estimated number of youth in care is around 400,000. 

Nearly 30,000 youth age-out of the U.S. foster care system without the skills needed to be self-sufficient. Only about 50% of youth in foster care will be reunified with their families. At least 60% of youth in care will be there longer than 12 months.

Foster youth are twice as likely to repeat a grade in school. Youth in care often experience multiple changes in placement which disrupt their education. Approximately 33% of foster youth move at least five times during their stay in foster care. It does not take long for them to lag behind their peers.

Our education system is not designed to allow teachers to provide special attention to any one student in their classrooms. The following are typical outcomes for youth who age out of our foster care system:

  • 22% experience homelessness soon after age 18
  • 33% live at or below poverty for years following care
  • 75% of females will become pregnant at least once by 24
  • 25% are incarcerated within 2 years of leaving foster care
  • 25% are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Less than 2% of foster youth will earn a college degree compared to 24% of the general population. The numbers speak for themselves - we are failing foster youth in this country and around the world. Although Educational Tutorial Services has been helping these students for years, we have only touched a fraction of youth in care. There is more that we can and plan to do with your help.

Click here or here (link to Balancing Act video on ETS YouTube Channel) to learn more about Educational Tutorial Services.


Of course, we are not the first tutoring program. We also are not the first one to suggest we are unique. We are, however, the one of the first that specifically targets foster youth.

Our longevity is proof of our commitment to our social mission. We are not a start-up that may or may not succeed. We will succeed! We have proven our value to the foster care community. We understand what it takes to bridge learning gaps experienced by youth in care. We have relationships with foster care agencies across the country as well as workforce investment boards that serve foster youth who have dropped out of school or aged out of the system. Learn more about our foster care tutoring program here.

Our instructors are trained and dedicated. Yes, we only hire experienced teachers to help our students. They all have college degrees, some with a master's or doctorate degree. Many have special education credentials. More importantly, each of our instructors receives additional training to work with our students. Our tutors know how to engage foster youth and provide the unique encouragement each child needs to succeed academically. Tutors are available for every learning style and subject matter ranging from Algebra to SAT prep.

Our tutoring program is intensive and compassionate. We have developed a program that works. It involves providing 2-4 hours of tutoring weekly for up to 40-50 total hours for each student. Tutors and students focus on strengthening weak areas identified through assessments. Each session has a goal that must be addressed. If the planned tutoring ends early, the tutor can help the student with homework. It is not uncommon for students and tutors to work together for several years until the student has caught up with his peers.


We believe every child has a fundamental right to an education. Youth in care are more likely to experience disruptions in their education than any other group of youth. The primary goal of our Fundly campaign is to:

(1)    Give all foster youth access to qualified tutors who can help them bridge learning gaps faster.

(2)    Make sure foster care agencies and youth across the country are made aware of this educational opportunity.

(3)    Provide program support to tutors and students to maintain the overall integrity of the program.

We currently have more than 500 tutors across the country ready to help a student at a moment's notice. And, our blog is a wealth of information for students and caregivers who want to learn valuable study tips and test prep recommendations.

We are proud of our accomplishments to date, but we still need your help!

With your donations, we will be able to:

(1)    Initiate a strategic online marketing campaign to get the word out about our program.

(2)    Hire additional support staff to match tutors to students and provide program oversight on a community level.

(3)    Make scholarships available to foster youth in need so they get the help they need when they need it.

Every contribution is important if we want to make an authentic impact on the lives of foster youth. We will use all funds raised to expand services and address educational needs of youth in care in order to help them succeed academically.


We have set a goal of $350,000 for this campaign and expect to use the funds as follows:

  • $80,000 will be used to hire additional support staff including an educational coordinator who can oversee the academic outcomes of up to 400 students annually.
  •  $220,000 has been set aside for scholarships for approximately 150 foster youth to receive intensive tutoring over the course of a school year.
  •  $50,000 is allocated for our 2-year advertising initiative and includes funds for ongoing marketing efforts through other online and traditional channels.

Any funds raised beyond our goal will be applied to student scholarships.


Know that whatever donation level you choose, you will be doing more than supporting us - you will be making a true social impact on foster youth across the country and the communities in which they live.

You can still help out even if you cannot afford to make a donation. We can use your help getting the word out about our campaign. You can use the campaign share tools or share our campaign using Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media you use on a regular basis. Even good old fashioned email is a great way to help spread the word about our initiative. Whatever your method, be sure to include the link you see below our video so folks can find us. Thanks!


"My foster son has achieved many academic awards and works very diligently to achieve higher recognition from his peers, teachers and school district. He states that he is taking full advantage of the services Educational Tutorial Services offers. He hopes to continue doing so in the future."  -- David, foster parent

"Educational Tutorial Services has provided services for my child for over one year. I have appreciated the patience and flexibility that we have received. Over the many months, I have seen my son get into a positive pattern regarding school and homework. His tutor was able to connect with my son on his level and recognize when he needed to give him a break." -- Crystal, foster parent

"Last year I had about three students in my household. Educational Tutorial Services assigned a tutor to my kids, and he did a good job. One of my kids wants to attend UCLA in the future so the tutor helped her. At first, my foster daughter had trouble with math but she stayed patient and kept doing homework assignments and worksheets which helped improve her learning skills in the classroom.  This hard work reflected in her test scores and she became surprised and kept doing the right things in order to keep her high test scores." -- Rosie, foster parent

"My foster children's Educational Tutorial Services tutor is the best tutor they have been with. She is knowledgeable and provides tools and shortcuts in understanding math problems. Over the past school year, both children have been able to complete projects and assignments which they weren't able to do before. Their grades have improved significantly as well in math, reading and science." -- JoAnn, foster parent

We thank you in advance for your interest and support!

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