Enrollment of Students in Foster Care
For children and youth in foster care, a change in home placement frequently results in a change in school placement. The educational impact of every school change is significant. Each time students enter new schools, they must adjust to different curricula, different expectations, new friends, and new teachers. Keeping children in the same school:
- provides continuity in education;
- maintains important relationships at school;
- provides stability during a traumatic time for the children; and
- improves educational and life outcomes.
Virginia revised its joint guidance in 2017 (linked below) to implement the provisions of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Fostering Connections) and the Title I, Part A provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) to ensure school stability for students in foster care.
Both acts mandate educational stability for children in out-of-home care and require child welfare agencies (i.e., department of social services, licensed child-placing agencies, etc.) to coordinate with local educational agencies (school divisions) to ensure educational stability for every child in foster care.
- U.S. Department of Education, Students in Foster Care. This Webpage contains links to federal legislation, guidance, and other resources related to students in foster care.
- Virginia. Fostering Connections and the Every Student Succeeds Act: Joint Guidance for School Stability of Children and Youth in Foster Care-This is a Word document. (Word) – VDOE & VDSS, 2017
- Appendices for Guidance. (Forms to be completed by local departments of social services and shared with school division foster care liaisons)
- Appendix A. FC/ESSA Form A-17-This is a Word document. (Word), Notice of Student Receiving Foster Care Services and Request for Best Interest Determination Participation Form – VDOE & VDSS
- Appendix B. FC/ESSA Form B-17-This is a Word document. (Word), Best Interest Determination for Foster Care School Placement Form – VDOE & VDSS
- Appendix C. FC/ESSA Form C-17-This is a Word document. (Word), Immediate Enrollment of Student in Foster Care Form – VDOE & VDSS
- Appendix D. FC/ESSA Form D-17-This is a Word document. (Word), Best Interest Determination Process Educational Input from Residential Treatment Centers Form – VDOE & VDSS
- Appendix E, Job Descriptions-This is a Word document. (Word)
- Appendix F, Acknowledgements-This is a Word document. (Word)
- VDOE Superintendent's Memo #197-11, dated July 22, 2011. Application of New Code of Virginia Requirements Regarding Students with Disabilities Placed in Foster Care
- Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities-This is a PDF document. (PDF) in Virginia (PDF)
- VDOE Superintendent's Memo #272-16, dated October 28, 2016. Required Provisions for Students in Foster Care under the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA)
- VDOE Superintendent's Memo 324-17, dated December 8, 2017. Educational Stability for Students in Foster Care, Updated Virginia Joint Guidance to Align With the Every Student Succeeds Act and the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008
School Division Foster Care Liaisons-This is an excel spreadsheet. – revised October, 2019
VDOE: Dr. Patricia A. Popp: 757-221-7776
VDSS: Bethany Robinson, MSW: 804-726-7423
VDSS Regional Permanency Consultants:
- Piedmont Regional Office: 540-204-9611
- Western Regional Office: 276-676-5490
- Eastern Regional Office: 757-491-3990
- Northern Regional Office: 540-347-6250
- Central Regional Office: 804-662-9743
- Legal Center for Foster Care & Education. American Bar Association Center under the Center on Children and the Law
- Casey Family Programs. The nation's largest operating foundation focused on safely reducing the need for foster care