Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Helen M. Hazi

Committee Co-Chair

Charline BarnesRowland

Committee Member

Marsha Carr-Lambert

Committee Member

Neal Shambaugh

Committee Member

Richard Walls


Foster children are now considered the most at-risk children in American society. Concern for meeting foster children's educational needs falls with the social services domain, however, it is the school system that is responsible for ensuring that all children receive an appropriate education. The schools have programs and policies in place to help the subgroup of identified at-risk students, but foster children are not part of that subgroup. Schools may be overlooking the needs of the foster child because they do not know them as students with special needs. These special needs are not all academics, but they impact the academic process. Research shows that these children perform poorly in reading, math, and vocabulary, they fail or repeat grades, they struggle to perform at grade level, and many need special education services.;While there has been some research done involving teachers' understanding and perceptions of working with students in foster care, very little has been done with school principals. School principals are held accountable for the academic success of all students. It is challenging for them to meet the needs of foster children when they don't have an understanding of how to do so.;The purpose of this study is to examine the West Virginia Title I elementary school principals' perceptions of the barriers that interfere with the delivery of educational services for foster children.;The findings from this study identify what WV Title elementary school principals perceive to be barriers in educating foster children. School principals can better meet the needs of foster children if they are educated and trained in how to work with this student population. It also provides recommendations to address the barriers identified in order to help foster children succeed academically.