Educational Supports for Youth in Foster Care - Connecticut

Date:

Support for Completing High School

Citation: Pol. Man. # 28-1

Youth who are committed, abused, neglected, uncared for, or for whom the commissioner is the statutory parent shall be in full-time attendance in a secondary school (high school) program, adult high school credit diploma program, or general educational development (GED) program. Adult high school or GED programs may be approved by the commissioner in lieu of secondary school on a case-by-case basis. Youth shall be required to complete the adult high school or GED program by age 21.

All youth shall be encouraged to remain in and graduate from secondary school. If it is in the best interests of the youth to pursue alternative means to secondary education completion, the adolescent specialist shall seek prior approval from the commissioner. The adolescent specialist shall prepare a memorandum for the commissioner to review that shall include the following documents:

  • School transcripts
  • Test scores
  • GED practice and test scores
  • Anticipated postsecondary education or employment plan
  • Anticipated time frame for GED completion

Youth who have been approved to attend a GED program shall be required to accept additional support services, including tutoring, in order to complete the program within 6 months. These youth shall be encouraged also to enroll in a postsecondary education program or employment training.

Planning for Postsecondary Education

Citation: Pol. Man. # 28-1

For any youth interested in pursuing postsecondary education, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) adolescent specialist shall submit a postsecondary education (PSE) plan to a PSE consultant. Plans shall contain the following materials and be submitted no later than July 15th prior to the youth's senior year of high school:

  • Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) results, if applicable
  • Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) Science score
  • Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and American College Test (ACT) scores
  • Official high school transcript
  • For youth approved for the GED, all relevant testing and available scores
  • Most recent individualized education plan (IEP) or 504 plan, if applicable
  • Most recent psychological or achievement evaluation conducted
  • A youth-prepared summary with a proposed education plan that identifies the following:
    • Type of program
    • Field of study or major
    • Career goal
    • Length of program and projected completion (e.g., certificate program, 18 months; computer programming, associate degree, 2 years; criminal justice, bachelor's degree, 4 years)
  • List of schools to which the youth intends to apply or has applied
  • An approved preliminary PSE plan

For any youth interested in pursuing postsecondary vocational training, the adolescent specialist shall submit a PSE plan to a PSE specialist. Plans shall contain the following materials and be submitted no later than July 15th prior to the youth's senior year of high school:

  • SBA results, if applicable
  • CAPT Science score
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Official high school transcript
  • For youth approved for the GED, all relevant testing and available scores
  • Most recent IEP or 504 plan, if applicable
  • Most recent psychological or achievement evaluation conducted
  • Proposed employment training plan that identifies the type of employment training program, including the length of the program and the area being pursued
  • A list of employment training programs to which the youth intends to apply or has applied

For any youth interested in pursuing the Community Housing Employment Enrichment Resources (CHEER) program, the DCF adolescent specialist shall submit a PSE plan to PSE staff. PSE staff shall forward the plan to the CHEER coordinator. Plans must contain the following materials and be submitted no later than July 15th prior to the youth's senior year of high school:

  • SAT and ACT scores
  • Official high school transcript
  • For youth approved for the GED, all relevant testing and available scores
  • Most recent 504 plan, if applicable
  • A youth-prepared summary with a proposed education plan that identifies the following:
    • Trade of interest
    • Career goal
    • Length of program and projected completion
  • List of employment training programs to which the youth intends to apply or has applied
  • An approved preliminary PSE plan

Eligibility Requirements

Citation: Pol. Man. # 28-1

DCF may offer funding for a PSE program to youth who meet the following criteria:

  • Are committed to DCF as abused, neglected, or uncared for as of the youth's 18th birthday
  • Have obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent
  • Demonstrate an interest and ability to pursue an accredited PSE program

Funding shall be based on available DCF budget appropriations. To be eligible for assistance for PSE funding, the youth shall meet the following requirements:

  • Be adjudicated abused, neglected, or uncared for and committed to DCF by the juvenile court at the time the child turns age 18
  • Have obtained a high school diploma or received approval for and completed a GED
  • Have demonstrated adequate social skills and appropriate behavior, as assessed by the adolescent specialist and the case history
  • Have signed a DCF-779, 'Notice at Age of Majority and Agreement for Services Post Majority,' prior to the youth's 18th birthday in order to continue receiving services beyond age 18
  • Maintained compliance with DCF through an individual postmajority contract
  • Have done either of the following:
    • Began in a full-time PSE program immediately after receiving a high school diploma or GED and have an approved PSE plan

In order to qualify for PSE funding from DCF, a youth shall do the following:

  • Have a PSE plan that has been reviewed and approved by a PSE consultant
  • Demonstrate the ability and strong desire to pursue PSE
  • If age 18 or over, voluntarily agree to continue to receive services from DCF and understand that most services and funding from DCF shall terminate upon reaching age 21, and all funding shall terminate at age 23 or earlier if the conditions of PSE are not met
  • Complete the U.S. Department of Education's Free Application for Federal Youth Aid (FAFSA) no later than 90 days prior to the expected award of a high school diploma or GED and annually thereafter
  • Complete, if required by the PSE program, the institution-specific financial aid application
  • Apply or compete for appropriate grants and scholarships to offset costs

DCF shall not provide financial assistance unless such efforts by the youth are reflected in the total funding request. A youth who requests PSE funding shall provide the following documentation to his or her adolescent specialist:

  • Proof of enrollment or registration at an accredited institution
  • The FAFSA submission receipt
  • Any institution-specific application(s) for financial aid
  • A high school transcript
  • A copy of the financial aid award letter or student award report
  • Copies of all grant and scholarship applications and corresponding award determination letters

Financial Supports for Postsecondary Programs

Citation: Pol. Man. # 28-1

DCF funding for the costs of attendance in a PSE program is limited to an amount not to exceed the maximum cost of attendance at a Connecticut State University. Youth who choose to attend programs or colleges that exceed the DCF funding limit shall be solely responsible for any and all additional funding costs.

The maximum funding for cost of attendance in a PSE program shall be based upon Connecticut State University's 'Financial Aid Cost of Attendance Budget' for an undergraduate, in-State, full-time, on-campus youth for the current State fiscal year.

Costs of attendance include the following:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Room and board (on campus) and/or rent and living stipend (off campus)
  • Books, equipment, supplies, and materials required of all youth in the same course of study

Youth who have exceeded the funding amount may, within available appropriations, be eligible for the following with the office director's approval:

  • A computer
  • Accommodations related to a youth's disability that are not funded by another source
  • Two roundtrip transportation expenses to be used to visit caregivers during educational breaks if attending an out-of-State institution