Effectiveness of a group-based academic tutoring program for children in foster care: A randomized controlled trial

The consistently poor educational achievement of children in foster care has been associated with many negative outcomes including long term poor adult adjustment (e.g., higher rates of suicide, criminality, and substance abuse). The current study was undertaken to improve foster children's academic skills through academic remediation. Across this two year randomized study, 91 children in out of home foster or kinship care, between grades 1 and 8 inclusive, completed the study. One-half were randomly assigned to the 30-week direct-instruction small group tutoring condition, while the other half served as wait-list controls. A statistically significant increase in standard scores was found on reading decoding, spelling and mathematic skills for the children who received tutoring, but no differences were obtained on sentence comprehension. Significant effect sizes, in the small to moderate range, were also found in support of the tutoring condition across these three domains. The implications of these positive findings as they relate to improving educational achievement among children in foster care are discussed.
Authors citation
Harper, J., & Schmidt, F.
Publication
Children and Youth Services Review, 67(C), 238–246
Year of Study
2016
Subject
Math
Program Evaluated
Group-Based Academic Tutoring Program
Tutor Type
Volunteer
Duration
30 weeks
Sample size
91
Grade Level(s)
1st Grade,
2nd Grade,
3rd Grade,
4th Grade,
5th Grade,
6th Grade,
7th Grade,
8th Grade
Student-Tutor Ratio
4.5
Effect Size
0.28
Study Design
Randomized Controlled Trial
Full citation
Harper, J., & Schmidt, F. (2016). Effectiveness of a group-based academic tutoring program for children in foster care: A randomized controlled trial. Children and Youth Services Review, 67(C), 238–246. https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/cysrev/v67y2016icp238-246.html