Foster Care Services
The Foster Care Services Program (FCS) strives to address the unique educational needs of foster youth by working collaboratively with youth, caregivers, schools, placing agencies, and other service providers.
The goals are to:
- Ensure timely enrollment
- Increase school attendance
- Improve academic achievement
- Encourage and sustain school stability
- Ensure equitable access to resources
- Advocate for appropriate school placement
The federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, Public Law 110-351, requires state child welfare agencies to work with their state and local education systems to support initiatives to improve educational outcomes for children in foster care. On August 25, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a joint letter to all Chief State School Officers and State Child Welfare Directors (http://nrcpfc.org/nrc-wu/mainview.asp?ID=165) informing them of provisions in the federal law that require local education agencies and child welfare agencies to coordinate to ensure that children in foster care maintain "education stability."
The law specifically requires that at the time of a child's initial placement in foster care, the child welfare agency (DFPS) must coordinate with local education agencies to ensure that children remain in their current school (unless doing so poses a safety risk for the child or is otherwise not in the child's best interests), thereby keeping them connected with teachers, other family members including siblings, and friends, and helping them continue to progress in their school work.
If you have any questions, please Becky Rivera at (512) 278-4096.