Foster Care Provisions

Ensuring Educational Stability for Children and Youth in Foster Care

Requirements under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2016, established protections for children in foster care. These provisions complement the requirements of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Fostering Connections Act) and further promote the purpose of Title I to increase educational stability, remove enrollment barriers, ensure high-quality educational opportunities, close achievement gaps, and improve educational outcomes for children.

In partnership with the Division of Social Services at the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) has developed procedures for both local education agencies (LEA) and local child welfare agencies (CWA) to serve children in foster care for ensuring their attendance and success in school. The agencies joint guidance about implementation of the foster care provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act can be found at the link below: 

 Every Student Succeeds Act: Ensuring Educational Stability for Children and Youth in Foster Care in North Carolina

Key Provisions of the Act include:

  • A child in foster care remains in his or her school of origin, unless it is determined that remaining in the school of origin is not in that child’s best interest;
  • Collaboration between the LEA and CWA to develop and implement clear written procedures for how school of origin transportation will be provided, arranged, and funded for children in foster care, as well as how the transportation will be provided and funded while any disputes between the agencies are being resolved;
  • If it is not in the child’s best interest to stay in his or her school of origin, the child is immediately enrolled in the new school even if the child is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment; and
  • That the new (enrolling) school immediately contacts the school of origin to obtain relevant academic and other records.



LJ Von Dohlen, MSW, LCSW, State Coordinator for Foster Care Education 
Federal Program Monitoring and Support Services Division with NCDPI 
SERVE Center at UNCG 

Website: UNC SERVE Center