Better Futures

row of smiling teens standing outdoors

Better Futures helps Louisiana students with foster care backgrounds graduate high school and consider their options for post-secondary education and training.

Program Goals

The Better Futures program helps students learn and practice self-determinations skills like:

  • Dreaming
  • Goal-setting
  • Problem-solving
  • Engaging allies to support transition out of foster care and from high school to post-secondary education or training.
"Better Futures increased college enrollment and improved well-being."
Better Futures logo

What does the program offer?

  • One-on-one academic-year coaching to help youth connect to their strengths and outline and achieve post-secondary goals
  • An exciting Summer Institute: 3 days at LSU Baton Rouge exploring educational opportunities, meeting with a variety of peers and professionals in different fields
  • Academic-year workshops where youth meet peers and successful adults who have personal experience with mental health challenges and/or foster care experiences


email project coordinator




Who is eligible?

  • Junior or Senior in high school (or GED and no college experience)
  • Currently or formerly in foster care
  • Current age 16-21
  • Live in the East Baton Rouge Parish area or a surrounding parish
  • Interested in exploring ideas of college or other higher education opportunities such as vocational school or job corps.


How much does it cost?

This program is fully funded by a grant and is free to attend.


Jamie Hilton
Project Coordinator

Program Impact

The Better Futures program was tested with high school seniors in Oregon who were in foster care and had mental health stressors. Better Futures was found to increase high school graduation and college enrollment and improve well-being for participants. Significant impact was also found in the realm of self-determination, mental health empowerment, postsecondary preparation, transition planning, and hope for student in the program. Youth in the intervention group also showed promising trends towards higher rates of mental health recovery and quality of life.

Better Futures is rated by the California Evidence-based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare as being supported by research evidence (Geenen et al., 2015; Philips et al., 2015).

Better Futures is a project of Louisiana State University's School of Social Work and a partnership with the LA Department of Health's Office of Behavioral Health, the LA Department of Children & Family Services, and East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools, and other agencies.