Reevaluation Needed of Educational Assistance for Institutionalized Neglected or Delinquent Children

HRD-78-11: Published: Dec 19, 1977. Publicly Released: Dec 19, 1977.

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In recent years, the Office of Education's educational assistance program for neglected or delinquent children has emphasized basic skills instruction. Older children generally do not continue schooling once outside of institutions; however, younger children are more likely to return to school following release. The program is unique because it provides assistance annually to over 2,000 institutions, but it needs to be reexamined in relation to the broader national issues of juvenile delinquency and child abuse and neglect. Educational assistance may not be the top priority for institutionalized youth.

A nationwide survey of institution administrators to determine the importance of academic educational needs in comparison with other problems faced by youth in institutions indicate that the administrators consider academic education important but secondary to mental health needs. Responses to other questions raised concerns as to whether academic educational needs should be the exclusive or top priority of a Federal service program. Funds for the program should be distributed on a more selective basis than at present, but to do so, existing legislation would have to be amended.

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