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), establish new 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 served by the foster care system.
At the state level, staff from the Division of Social Services (DSS) at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), and the SERVE Center at UNCG have identified state-level POCs for both education and child welfare and collaborated to develop clear procedures to serve foster children. The agencies developed joint guidance about implementation of the foster care provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act. This link, Every Student Succeeds Act: Ensuring Educational Stability for Children and Youth in Foster Care in North Carolina (pdf, 520kb) will provide the joint guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI).
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.
- Foster Care Education at Serve
- The Legal Center for Foster Care and Education
- U.S. Department of Education
- NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS)
Sara Bigley, State Coordinator for Foster Care Education
Federal Program Monitoring and Support Services Division with NCDPI
SERVE Center at UNCG