Angelique Day

Faculty Profile

Research Description

Angelique Day is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at Wayne State University. She graduated from Western Michigan University with a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences. Her dissertation entitled, “An Examination of Post-Secondary Educational Access, Retention, and Success of Foster Care Youth,” was awarded the prestigious dissertation award in August 2011 by the Section on Child Maltreatment from the American Psychological Association, and the findings were recently published in the top ranked Children and Youth Services Review journal.

Prior to her appointment at WSU, Day worked as the founder and coordinator of Michigan State University’s Foster Youth Alumni Services Program, a college access and retention program for students who have aged out of foster care and are interested in obtaining a post-secondary credential. Day was also formerly employed with Michigan’s Children, a statewide, private, non-profit children’s advocacy organization, where she provided leadership in developing the agency’s child welfare policy agenda. She also led the Youth Policy Leadership Program, an effort that provided opportunities for youth voice, many of whom were in foster care, in the public policy debate. In addition to her work with young people aging out of foster care, Day has experience working for the Michigan Department of Human Services as a child protective services worker, as well as extensive experience in research and training, including services in tribal communities across the State. Day’s professional experience in research, policy development, child welfare practice, and her personal experiences as a former ward of the court, make her uniquely qualified to continue to provide leadership in training, research, and consultation in the field of child welfare.

Teaching Interests

Social welfare policy
Social work methods of practice

Research Project

Examining differences in college retention rates of foster care youth and other low-income, first generation college enrolled at a four-year university

This study examines whether former foster care youth are more likely to drop out of college than low-income, first generation students who had not been in foster care. It addresses several gaps in our knowledge about post-secondary educational attainment among foster care alumni. First, whereas prior studies have paid some attention to college retention among this population (Hernandez &Naccarato;, 2010; Merdinger, 2005), retention is a major focus of this study. Second, unlike previous studies which have often not distinguished between two- and four-year schools, this study is limited to students attending a four-year university. Finally, whereas previous studies have generally used the general young adult population or all undergraduates as their comparison group, the comparison group in this study is students from similar socioeconomic backgrounds.
An examination of Youth Voice and its impact on child welfare, education, and health policy reform

Although previous studies have documented the low high school completion and college enrollment rates among foster care youth, the voices of young people experiencing or on the cusp of experiencing the transition from high school to college have been conspicuously absent from the research. This exploratory study seeks to address this gap by examining the barriers to completing high school and enrolling in college as perceived by youth in foster care and foster care alumni. A better understanding of these barriers from the perspective of current and former foster youth will assist policymakers as well as child welfare and education professionals who are working to increase their high school completion and college enrollment rates.

Few studies identify patterns of reported trauma experienced longitudinally by foster care youth and alumni. Far more is known about reported trauma that takes place prior to foster care placement, as compared to reported trauma that takes place during and after foster care placement. The current trajectory of trauma is insufficiently explored using samples of foster care youth and alumni. Studies that examine foster youth-reported trauma that allegedly took place during and after foster care placement appear to be relatively recent and seem to emerge from studies about foster youth transitions to adulthood. For example, Pecora et al. (2006) asserted that one-third of foster alumni reported some maltreatment during foster care. Breno and Galupo (2007) found trauma scores were highest for young women who experienced sexual abuse before and during foster placement. This study will explore the extent that foster youth report trauma before, during, and after placement and how foster care youth seem to understand their trauma experiences. Child welfare and mental health professionals and policy makers can work to reduce trauma of foster care recipients based on developing knowledge of reported trauma patterns of foster care youth.

Affiliated Departments