September 08, 2016// News

Laptop Program Narrows Digital Divide for Foster Youth

For most adolescents, it’s not an issue; 90 percent of teens in the United States have their own laptop. However, it’s a different story for youth in foster care. “We live in an increasingly digital world and the divide between those with internet access and those without is getting smaller,” said Jeremy Goldbach, an assistant professor at the USC School of Social Work. “But kids in the foster care system are still being left out.”

Less than 20 percent of foster youth own a computer, with even lower rates in rural counties throughout California. That disparity might play a role in higher dropout rates, less success on the high school exit exam and lower rates of college graduation among foster youth. That’s where iFoster enters the picture. The California-based nonprofit launched an innovative program in 2012 after its founder, Serita Cox, kept hearing from teens and caregivers that not having access to a computer is a common challenge.

To keep reading, please click here to view the whole Hamovitch PI, Fall 2016.