Published: Oct 08, 2012 10:20 AM EDT

MIAMI (AP) - The lead agency that oversees foster care in Miami has been awarded a $500,000 grant to improve education outcomes among foster kids.
    
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded the grant to Our Kids of Miami-Dade, Monroe Inc.
    
Eighty foster youths will be enrolled in school dropout prevention programs.
    
The grant will also beef up data sharing between caseworkers, judges and school officials to make sure that everyone can easily access school records for foster kids and measure their academic progress.
    
Federal lawmakers held a national town hall earlier this year about the importance of helping foster children succeed in school.
    
Experts say only about half of foster youths graduate from high school and less than ten percent finish college. Many end up homeless.

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