About Xavier House

Xavier House Unlimited is a 501(c)3 designated organization that will be the first-ever foster group home that identifies and serves high-intelligence youth who are struggling in foster care. Xavier House will provide 24-hour care and supervision, using a rotating house-parent model, to 14 foster youth who have demonstrated a need for a higher level of care. The program will use a multi-step, research-supported application process to facilitate admission selection. Xavier House will seek to obtain licensure through the Florida Department of Children and Families. The first campus will be located in Alachua County, Florida. The youth will attend an on-campus education program and will receive independent living skills, extra-curricular activities, and specialized social-emotional support. 

Population to be served

The United States has over 400,000 children in foster care; each year around 20,000 youth turn 18 and “age out” of the foster care system, or reach adulthood without being placed in a permanent living situation. Florida has over 20,000 foster children and of those, 1,000 age out of the system every year. Many of these youth have little to no support after age 18. 

Among the youth in the foster care system, there are many with above-average intelligence who struggle to fit in or to be understood in traditional placements. Their intellectual differences often put them at odds with a system that was not designed for their unique needs. These youth languish with few enrichment opportunities and no services to help them develop their abilities. Placement instability contributes to inconsistent school attendance, which results in over half of youth from foster care not graduating from high school. 

Implementation of the program

Foster care case managers will complete an initial five-item questionnaire. Admission staff at the group home will use this information to determine if the youth may be able to benefit from the rigorous program at Xavier House. The case managers of selected youth will then be invited to complete a five-part application process.  The elements of this application process were developed from research on behaviors that are common in gifted and talented children.  

Goals / Objectives / Expected outcomes and the indicators of those outcomes
  • High school graduation rates will increase from the foster care average of 46% to 75%
    • National and State data show the average graduation rate for foster youth is between 46% and 50%.  The number of Xavier House youth who age out of high school each May will be divided by the number of students who complete all of the requirements to obtain a Florida High School diploma.
  • Triple college enrollment from 8% to 25%
    • The national average for college enrollment of foster youth is 8%. The number of youth cared for in May will be divided by the number of youth who enroll in a college or university within 12 months of discharge in that same year.
  • 75% of residents will decrease missed school days by 50%
    • The average missed days per nine-week period while at Xavier House would be compared to the calculations of their time prior to coming to the group home.
  • 75% of residents will increase placement stability by 50%
    • The length of time that residents remain stable at Xavier House will exceed their previous placement stability by 50%
  • 90% of residents will have a 50% decrease in incidents of running away, Baker Acts, and arrests.
    • The number of incidents in the 12 months prior to placement at Xavier House will be compared to the average per 12 months while at Xavier House.