Although advocates and policymakers have paid more attention to improving educational outcomes for foster youth in recent years,1 these efforts have largely ignored the role that extracurricular activities can play in youths’ overall academic performance. Playing on a soccer team or participating in band enhances the school experience and often has positive effects on attendance, motivation, academic achievement, and behavior. Despite this fact, few states have laws that support foster youth participation in these activities (California is an important exception).  In addition, there are few existing policies guiding caregivers and others involved with foster youth on how to support their involvement in these activities.  Foster youth need emotional and practical support from caregivers and caseworkers, flexibility on the part of teachers and coaches, and state laws that protect their right to fully participate in school-related activities.

Read the full article in Youth Law…
http://www.youthlaw.org:80/publications/yln/2010/oct_dec_2010/beyond_the_basics_how_extracurricular_activities_can_benefit_foster_youth/