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In 1998 a study found that 12 to 18 months after exiting care, teenagers aging out of foster care had difficulty being productive in society:1
  • 49% were unemployed
  • 37% had not yet completed high school (though 90% were attending prior to discharge)
  • 32% were receiving public assistance (food stamps & AFDC)
  • 12% had been homeless at least once
  • 18% had been incarcerated at least once
  • 25% of males & 15% of females experienced serious physical victimization
  • 44% had difficulty acquiring needed medical care

In contrast, students in residential education facilities generally have great potential beyond high school. Eighty-one percent of 2003 Coalition for Residential Education (CORE, an association of residential education facilities) graduates are enrolled in 2- or 4-year colleges. The twenty-four-hour community of our boarding school environment allows the faculty to influence students’ every moment whether in the classroom, at play, in the dining room, or in the dormitory. The boarding school experience does not limit learning to the classroom or the conventional academic day. Sharing a boarding school campus twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week with friends, teachers and mentors makes a difference. Students learn that every person has a valuable contribution to make to our society. Boarding school students at Heritage Mission:

  • live in an environment that is conducive to learning
  • receive more individual attention
  • learn to accept responsibility
  • receive character education
  • form relationships with beneficial role models
  • learn practical living skills
  • have a place to call home for a lifetime
  • profit from a small class size
  • learn to budget their time
  • do more academic work
  • watch far less television
  • are involved in more extra-curricular activities
  • are active participants, not passive recipients
  • learn to get along with others
  • learn to set goals for themselves
  • learn to think for themselves
  • profit from diverse curricula
  • attain a higher level of performance
  • learn to follow rules
  • learn to be independent
  • develop hobbies and interests
  • experience family life
  • receive counsel from Godly people
  • learn self-discipline
  • profit from tutors that are easily available
  • live in a safe, healthy environment
  • receive excellent medical care
  • have opportunities to organize and lead
  • develop life-long relationships
  • learn to parent by observing responsible adults
  • learn good citizenship
  • experience the classics
  • develop God-given talents
  • learn to use time wisely
  • learn to serve others

The total estimated cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States is $94 billion per year2. Residential education is prevention-focused, at approximately half of the cost of juvenile justice facilities3, and produces children who can become productive adults in society.

1. Courtney, M.E. & Piliavin, I. (August 1998). Foster Youth Transitions to Adulthood: Outcomes 12 to 18 months after leaving out-of-home care. (University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Social Work)

2. Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, 2001

3. Coalition for Residential Education at http://residentialeducation.org/

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