Building Connections With Schools
Education is a crucial issue for children and youth who spend time in foster care. In this section, find resources for professionals seeking to support the educational needs of children in the child welfare system, including State and local examples.
Raises national awareness of the educational needs of children and youth in care, and promotes promising practices and reforms across educational, child welfare, and juvenile and family court systems. Twelve organizations have united to form the National Working Group on Foster Care and Education.
Casey Family Programs, American Bar Association's Center on Children and the Law, Education Law Center-PA, & Juvenile Law Center
Serves as a national technical assistance resource and information clearinghouse on legal and policy matters affecting the education of children in the foster care system.
National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk
Serves as a national resource center to provide direct assistance to States, schools, communities, and parents seeking information about education for children and youth who are considered neglected, delinquent, or at-risk.
Northern Illinois University & Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
Aims to assist the education and development of Illinois children and youth who have been abused or neglected. The center's mission is to promote academic success and social competence in school for every child in the care and custody of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
Advocating for the Educational Needs of Children in Out-of-Home Care: Training Curriculum for Child Welfare Caseworkers and Supervisors(PDF - 498 KB)
Colorado Department of Human Services & Catherine E. Cutler Institute for Child and Family Policy, Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine (2010)
Provides child welfare caseworkers and their supervisors with an understanding of the relevant educational policies, processes, assessments, and plans; methods for monitoring outcomes and services; and tools to advocate for the educational needs of children in the child welfare system. Also available: Advocating for the Educational Needs of Children in Out-of-Home Care: A Manual for Caseworkers and Supervisors (PDF – 9830 KB) and Advocating for the Educational Needs of Children in Out-of-Home Care: Training Curriculum for Foster Parents (PDF – 532 KB)
Legal Center for Foster Care & Education (2008) (2nd ed.)
Sets forth eight goals with correlating benchmarks for each goal that indicate progress educational success for children in out-of-home care. The publication also provides national, State, and local examples of policies, practices, programs, and resources that can improve educational outcomes for children in foster care.
National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (2010)
Provides examples of education and child welfare collaborations that support the Fostering Connections Act in six States: Delaware, Nebraska, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Also available: Child Welfare/Education Collaborations (Full review) (PDF – 284 KB)
Foster Care and Education: Tools and Resources for Improving the Education Success of Children and Youth in Foster Care(PDF – 726 KB)
National Working Group on Foster Care and Education (2008)
Identifies key resources and tools designed to help attorneys, CASAs/GALs, child welfare practitioners, educators, foster parents and kinship caregivers, judges, policymakers, parents, and youth themselves understand the diverse issues affecting a child's education, and ways to advocate and ensure positive educational outcomes for children and youth in foster care.
Looking Back, Moving Forward: Using Integrated Assessments to Examine the Educational Experiences of Children Entering Foster Care
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago (2010)
Discusses findings from a study that examined how children's school behavior and academic experiences are intertwined with their family lives and maltreatment experiences. The report explores the roles of schools and the child welfare system in supporting the educational progress of vulnerable children, before the peak of family crises and after placement in out-of-home care.
Legal Center for Foster Care & Education
Provides information about the education provisions of the Fostering Connections Act and tools for state implementation.
National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (2011)
Highlights promising practices from collaborative efforts to improve educational stability and continuity for children in child welfare systems. Also available: Strategies to Support School Stability and Continuity: Part 2
State and local examples
(PDF – 616 KB)
Washington State Institute for Public Policy (2009)
Describes a three-year initiative led by six different state and community agencies in Washington State. The aim of the initiative was to increase the high school graduation and college attendance rate for youth aging out of foster care.
Describes how the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services maintains children's connections to their schools and communities by incorporating school proximity into foster care placement decisions. The department uses School Minder, a demographic software application, to identify foster homes in a child's school district.