Program

Jun 18, 2015

OVERVIEW

The Early Start to Emancipation Preparation (ESTEP) is a tutoring program designed to improve reading and math skills of foster youths, ages 14 and 15, who are one to three years behind grade level in reading or math. The program offers services beyond tutoring, including a mentoring relationship with the tutor, and access to other independent-living workshops provided through the ESTEP program. An evaluation of ESTEP found that the program had no impacts on educational outcomes.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Foster youth, ages 14 and 15

The ESTEP-Tutoring program is designed to improve the reading and math skills of foster youth, ages 14 and 15, who are one to three years behind grade level in reading or math. The program is also designed to encourage youths to use other educational services and resources that may be available to them. Offered through 12 community colleges in Los Angeles County, the sessions take place in the home of the youth being served, and are led by college student tutors. Each youth is eligible for 65 hours of tutoring (including 15 hours which tutors use for preparation, mentoring, and other activities).

EVALUATION OF PROGRAM

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. (2008). Evaluation of the Early Start to Emancipation Preparation Tutoring Program: Los Angeles County. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  

Evaluated population: A total of 445 foster youth, ages 14 and 15, who were referred for the  ESTEP-Tutoring program participated in the study. Youth were one to three years behind their school grade level in either reading or math. Sixty percent of the overall sample was African-American, 35 percent were Hispanic, and 31 percent were white (some youths reported that they were more than one race).

Approach: Participating youth were randomly assigned to either the treatment “ESTEP group” (N=277) or the control group (N=252). Youths assigned to the ESTEP group received services consistent with the design of the program (approximately 18 hours of math tutoring, and 17 hours of reading tutoring), and youths in the control group did not receive any services from the program.   Respondents participated in an initial interview, as well as two follow-up interviews. Each follow-up interview took place approximately one year after the previous interview with that respondent. At each of the three interview waves (baseline, one-year follow-up, and two-year follow-up), data were collected on grades during the last full semester, the highest grade completed, and school behavior.

Results: The program had no statistically significant impacts on any of the educational or behavioral outcomes measured at the one-year follow-up. There were no statistically significant differences observed between the ESTEP and control groups for any of the outcomes at the second follow-up.  

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Contact Information

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Administration for Children and Families

370 L’Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20447

References

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. (2008). Evaluation of the Early Start to Emancipation Preparation Tutoring Program: Los Angeles County. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

KEYWORDS: Adolescents (12-17), Middle School, High School, Males and Females (Co-ed), White/Caucasian, Black/African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Tutoring, Reading/Literacy, Mathematics.

Program information last updated 3/27/15.

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