The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (P.L. 114-95) was signed into law on December 10, 2015, as Public Law 114-95 (PDF - 1,071 KB). ESSA reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and includes new provisions that promote educational stability for children in foster care so they can continue their education without disruption, maintain important relationships, and have the opportunity to achieve college and career readiness. The law also emphasizes the importance of collaboration and joint decision-making between child welfare agencies and educational agencies. Below, find resources highlighting the details of ESSA, including State and local examples.
- ED-HHS webinar series: ensuring educational stability for children in foster care
- Every Student Succeeds Act provisions
American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, Legal Center for Foster Care and Education (2019)
Defines the provisions and requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act. The page includes a toolkit and resources to support school stability and the success of students in foster care.
Educational Stability for Foster Students During COVID-19
Child Welfare League of America (2020)
Provides recommendations to address the challenges to educational stability associated with the COVID-19 pandemic that may be prominent concerns for youth in foster care. These challenges include limited access to the internet, mental health challenges, abuse within the home, and the lack of active engagement in virtual classrooms.
Educational Stability Policy and the Interplay Between Child Welfare Placements and School Moves (PDF - 414 KB)
Clemens, Klopfenstein, Tis, & Lalonde (2017)
Children and Youth Services Review, 83
Examines how educational stability provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) relate to the number of placement changes. The study suggests that while ESSA does decrease placement changes, additional guidelines may further increase educational stability among children and youth in foster care.
Every Student Succeeds Act
Summarizes key provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act that relate to both children and youth in foster care and those involved in juvenile justice.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): A Comprehensive Guide
Explains the purpose of and provisions included in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) as well as resources related to other laws referenced in ESSA.
Every Student Succeeds Means Children in Foster Care Too: State Progress on ESSA’s Foster Care Provisions
McNaught & Peeler (2017)
Child Law Practice, 36(6)
Analyzes implementation efforts of the Every Student Succeeds Act at State and local levels.
Non-Regulatory Guidance: Ensuring Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care
U.S. Department of Education & U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2016)
Provides joint guidance for education and child welfare agencies to use as they establish new partnerships and implement the educational stability provisions of ESSA. These materials include promising practices from the field and two joint letters on the guidance and timelines.
Schools as Partners in Education Advocacy for Foster Youth: Tips for Attorneys on Engaging Schools
Child Law Practice Today
American Bar Association, Center on Children and the Law
Describes attorneys’ duties and responsibilities related to gathering educational information and how to approach and engage work collaboratively with schools in order to advocate for children in the child welfare system.
Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care
New Jersey Department of Education (2020)
Outlines New Jersey's policies and procedures for ensuring educational stability for children and youth in out-of-home care.
ESSA Implementation Timeline: A Guide to Key State and Local Processes
Council of Chief State School Officers (2021)
Highlights similarities and differences in the planning and implementation processes of several State and local agencies implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act.
Foster Care and Student Success
Texas Education Agency (2020)
Highlights a variety of information about the education of students in foster care. The guide promotes best practices and contains numerous tips, tools, resources, and links to more information.
School Registration for Children in Out-of-Home Care: Information for Caregivers and Educators (PDF - 269 KB)
New Jersey Department of Children and Families & New Jersey Department of Education (2018)
Explains the school registration process in order to ensure children in out-of-home care in New Jersey attend school within 72 hours of placement. This flyer also includes guidelines on registration and attendance requirements as well as necessary documents.
Student and Family Support (SFS): Educational Stability for Students in Foster Care
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (2020)
Provides contact information, trainings, and other related resources to help facilitate the educational stability of children and youth in foster care in Massachusetts.
Technical assistance is available to States, Territories and Tribes through the Child Welfare Capacity Building Center for States. To learn more about the services available, contact the appropriate Regional Liaisons.
If you have difficulty accessing any of the information on these pages or have other suggested resources, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org).