The California Countywide Foster Youth Services Program is based on Assembly Bill 490, and follow-up legislation, to provide education support for students living in foster care placements ages 4 - 21. The County Office of Education provides assistance to school districts, child welfare, probation, CASA, local colleges and various other foster youth serving community agencies. Students living in foster care is defined as any child who has been removed from the custody of their parent(s) or guardian(s) by the juvenile court, and placed in a group home or foster home. The child is under the direct supervision of a county social worker or probation officer. A county coordinator works with school district and agency staff to track and serve students living in foster care placements for academic success. Each school district is required to appoint a district liaison to coordinate foster youth services.
Rowland Unified School District Foster Liaison: Laurel Estrada firstname.lastname@example.org 626-854-2228 x1785
Foster Community Liaison: Julio Pimentel jpimentel@@rowlandschools.org 626-854-2228 x1792
Legal Definition: If a child enrolling in schools resides in a foster care home, school staff must immediately enroll the child, even if the foster parent or guardian is unable to produce records, clothing or supplies required for enrollment. This includes previous academic records, medical records, proof of residency, school uniforms or any other required documents. EC 48853.5(d)(4)(B)
Application: Foster parents must still submit all required documents, but children may not be denied access to school in the interim. Registrars may ask for documentation showing the child has been removed from their home and placed in foster care. Some exceptions to these rules may apply due to confidentiality and safety of all parties. Please contact the district liaison with questions.
Legal Definition: At the initial detention or placement, or any subsequent change in residential placement of a foster child, the local educational agency serving the foster child shall allow the foster child to continue his or her education in the school of origin for the duration of the school year if remaining in that school is in the child's best interest. EC 48853.5(d)(1)
Application: If a child is removed from their home an placed in foster care outside the attendance area for a school site, the child has a right to remain in their school. Updated legislation allows them to stay in their school of origin for the duration of their foster care placement, if it is determined to be in their best interest. For students in foster care, a residential change does not necessarily signal a school change. Decisions made in the child's best interest are done by staff from child welfare and the school.
The Uninterrupted Scholars Act makes it easier for case workers to gain access to school records and allows them to disclose the information for the limited purpose of assisting a child in obtaining the educational services he or she needs. The USA Act strikes a balance, allowing schools to share information in a targeted way with child welfare agencies, while still protecting family rights and student confidentiality. Case workers need immediate access to education information to help foster youth succeed in school. Before the passage of the USA Act, students often suffered from delays while child welfare workers tried to access school records. The USA Act makes it easier for the child welfare agency to get the educational records that will tell them when a youth is struggling in school, so case workers can collaborate with educators on making instructional decisions for foster youth.
Each public school district and county office of education shall accept for credit full or partial coursework satisfactorily completed by a pupil while attending a public school, juvenile court school, or Nonpublic, nonsectarian school or agency. EC48645.5
Resources to Support Teens
College and Career
Summary: The California Fostering Connections to Success Act was signed into law September 30, 2010 through Assembly Bill (AB) 12 and become effective January 1, 2012. The bill and subsequent legislation allowed foster care for eligible youth to extend beyond age 18 up to age 21. Eligible foster youth are designated as "non-minor dependents" (NMDs). This legislation also recognized the importance of family and permanency for youth by extending payment benefits and transitional support services for the Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) and Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program. For more information on AB 12
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