June 21, 2024

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Academic Success for Students in Foster Care Begins with Strong Partnerships Between Child Welfare and Education Systems

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Academic Success for Students in Foster Care Begins with Strong Partnerships Between Child Welfare and Education Systems

By: Aysha E. Schomburg, Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau in the Administration on Small children, Youth and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Solutions and Ruth Ryder, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Business of Elementary and Secondary Schooling (OESE), U.S. Department of Education

The 2021-2022 college 12 months has occur to a close. As students get started their summer crack, the U.S. Departments of Schooling (ED) and Health and Human Products and services (HHS) appear alongside one another to emphasize the significant get the job done that American educators and child welfare experts have performed to help students in foster care to present information about sources available for educational institutions to assistance pupils in foster care and to present details about federal collaboration and initiatives in this room.

To start with, we want to thank the American educator—and child welfare agency workforce who support learners in foster care every working day. We are grateful for the tireless perform of professionals—including instructors, social personnel, and counselors—who try to make certain that a student’s engagement with the baby welfare system does not have an adverse influence on that student’s academic encounters and options to realize success. We are primarily grateful that educators and kid welfare staff members have collaborated so correctly in neighborhood faculties, as effectively as at the district and condition stages. Partnership and shared objectives are critical to making sure that college students in foster treatment have unfettered obtain to the supports they require. Equally baby welfare professionals and educators have a obligation to inspire all pupils in foster care to reach their academic aims by furnishing obtain to methods that assistance aid the social and emotional very well-becoming of little ones in foster care.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a lifestyle altering event for college students, households, educators, college guidance staff members and the kid welfare workforce. A lot more than 140,000 children’s life were being completely improved by the reduction of a mother, father, or grandparent caregiver, and small children of racial and ethnic minorities accounted for 65% of people who missing a principal caregiver due to the pandemic.1 Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, pupils in foster care confronted unique barriers to succeeding in faculty and graduating from high college. Furthermore, the pandemic has had a disproportionate effect2 on small-revenue and traditionally underserved university student populations, specially learners in foster care and kids of shade. Thus, we want to accept the function that educators and boy or girl welfare specialists have long played in supporting the mental overall health of pupils of all ages and households before and through the pandemic. We further emphasize how vital it is to assure that the gurus who assistance students and households also have access to the services wanted to foster their personal emotional wellness. We will continue on to share and uplift finest techniques and sources3 aimed at supporting the wellness and psychological well being needs of pupils, their people, and the child welfare and training specialists who assistance them.

Though the pandemic extra tension to the lives of college students in foster care and the older people who help them, it also resulted in an inflow of resources being obtainable to assistance these students. Point out academic agencies and faculty districts can use Elementary and Secondary University Crisis Reduction (ESSER) Funds, like the ESSER cash allocated less than the American Rescue Program Act of 2021, to deliver an array of supports to pupils in foster treatment to assist them navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifics are accessible in this article. In addition, the Comprehensive-Assistance Local community Educational facilities[4] application increases the coordination, integration, accessibility, and effectiveness of companies for young children and households via mother or father leadership, family literacy, mentoring, youth enhancement plans, and pursuits that can increase obtain to and use of social provider packages, packages that promote family monetary balance, and mental wellbeing solutions. More, President Biden’s proposed spending plan for the U.S. Section of Education and learning for Fiscal Calendar year 2023 contains $30 million specified for a new software intended to make improvements to the academic outcomes for learners in foster treatment. ED believes this program will empower educational agencies to create partnerships with child welfare organizations to far better handle the exceptional requires of pupils in foster care. Finally, added funding for the Chafee Foster Treatment Application for Successful Changeover to Adulthood, provided through Division X of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, also remains offered as a result of expenditure through September 30, 2022. Data on this funding is readily available here.5

In summary, ED and HHS are dedicated to extending our collaboration in tangible means at the federal degree. Our agencies intend to co-host a webinar this drop – co-developed with younger grownups who experienced foster treatment – to share ideal tactics on how point out and group companions are planning academic programming for learners in foster treatment. Through this webinar, we hope to market comprehension of the experiences of pupils in foster care underscore the worth of interagency collaboration at the federal, point out, and area ranges to guidance this college student inhabitants and reveal effective partnerships in between youngster welfare and academic agencies. 

To learn extra about our agencies’ shared dedication to guarantee that college students in foster treatment are capable to fulfill their whole academic prospective, make sure you check out our webpages at https://oese.ed.gov/places of work/business-of-method-grants/school-guidance-and-accountability/learners-foster-care/ (ED) and https://www.childwelfare.gov/subject areas/systemwide/assistance-array/education and learning-expert services/academic-steadiness/ (HHS).   


1 S Hillis, et al. Covid-19-Related Orphanhood and Caregiver Dying in the United States. Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2021-053760.

2 Education and learning in a Pandemic: The Disparate Impacts of COVID-19 on America’s Pupils https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/checklist/ocr/docs/20210608-impacts-of-covid19.pdf.

3 Children’s Bureau (2022) Tip Sheet on Responding to Youth and Young Grownup Psychological Overall health Wants. Division X. Technological Support.

4 Place of work of Elementary and Secondary Education and learning, Full Support Local community Faculties Systems.  https://oese.ed.gov/places of work/office-of-discretionary-grants-aid-products and services/university-selection-enhancement-systems/whole-assistance-group-colleges-plan-fscs/.

5 ACYF-CB-PI-21-04. Direction and instruction linked to the Supporting Foster Youth and Family members by way of the Pandemic Act, Division X of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, General public Legislation (P.L.) 116-260, enacted December 27, 2020.



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