Anelise Powers

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There are well over 400,000 children in foster care. Education can improve the well-being of foster children in critical development stages of life and support their economic success in adulthood. In recent years, the law has given greater priority to the education of foster children, and foster children are often eligible for additional services. However, a common trend in foster care research is that foster children, though eligible, do not always receive the services created to assist them. This paper will explore how improving mediation related to education and foster care can help maximize the impact of efforts to improve access to education among foster children. Section II of this paper will explore the current foster care education trends, and Section III will further explain why education for foster care matters. Section IV will explore the issues resolving conflict in foster care education, and Section V will explain why focusing on improving the mediation process for education can improve educational outcomes for foster children. Section VI will begin to explore some alternative solutions for more effective conflict resolution. Lastly, section VII will suggest how to approach these alternatives. The focus should be on appointing educational liaisons to foster children to assist in education mediation. Other practices that may improve the substantive results of education mediation for foster care would include allowing advocates and schools to choose their mediators together to lessen the perception of bias, and to consider placement and education options together in mediation.