School Readiness in Children in Out-of-Home Care

  • Katherine PearsEmail author
  • Hyoun K. Kim
Part of the Children’s Well-Being: Indicators and Research book series (CHIR, volume 22)


Whether a child enters formal schooling with appropriate school readiness skills—the critical skills necessary to succeed—can influence that child’s academic and psychosocial trajectories throughout the school years. Children who have been placed into out-of-home care (OHC) during their preschool years may show deficits in their school readiness skills that increase their likelihood of academic failure, placement into special education, and leaving school prematurely. This chapter outlines the skills that are necessary for a successful start to formal schooling. We then examine the potential underlying psychosocial and neurobiological mechanisms of the school readiness deficits documented in many young children in foster care. We conclude with evidence from, and suggestions about, an efficacious preventive intervention that may increase these children’s readiness for school and thus place them on positive academic and social trajectories—The Kids In Transition to School (KITS) Program.


School readiness Preschool Neurobiology 



Support for this chapter was provided by the following grants: R01 DA021424 and P30 A023920 Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research, Prevention Research Branch, NIDA, U.S. PHS. The content of this chapter is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding organizations. Katherine Pears is a co-developer of the KITS Program. The authors would like to thank Sally Schwader for editorial assistance and all of the children and families who participated in the KITS Foster Care Study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oregon Social Learning CenterEugeneUSA
  2. 2.Yonsei UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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