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, Affiliate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau in the Administration on Small children, Youth and Families, U.S. Section of Overall health and Human Providers and Ruth Ryder, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Workplace of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), U.S. Section of Schooling

The 2021-2022 university year has come to a near. As students begin their summer months crack, the U.S. Departments of Education and learning (ED) and Health and Human Products and services (HHS) occur collectively to highlight the sizeable work that American educators and kid welfare specialists have finished to aid pupils in foster care to give information about means readily available for educational facilities to support college students in foster care and to deliver info about federal collaboration and attempts in this place.

Initial, we want to thank the American educator—and little one welfare agency workforce who assistance learners in foster treatment every single day. We are thankful for the tireless perform of professionals—including academics, social workers, and counselors—who attempt to assure that a student’s engagement with the youngster welfare procedure does not have an adverse effect on that student’s academic experiences and options to thrive. We are primarily grateful that educators and kid welfare personnel have collaborated so correctly in community educational institutions, as effectively as at the district and state levels. Partnership and shared plans are important to guaranteeing that learners in foster treatment have unfettered access to the supports they want. Equally little one welfare specialists and educators have a responsibility to persuade all students in foster care to access their educational ambitions by delivering access to methods that aid guidance the social and psychological properly-remaining of young children in foster treatment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a existence altering event for pupils, households, educators, faculty assistance staff and the child welfare workforce. Extra than 140,000 children’s lives were forever altered by the decline of a mom, father, or grandparent caregiver, and youngsters of racial and ethnic minorities accounted for 65% of those people who missing a main caregiver thanks to the pandemic.1 Even just before the COVID-19 pandemic, students in foster care confronted distinctive limitations to succeeding in university and graduating from higher school. Furthermore, the pandemic has experienced a disproportionate outcome2 on lower-cash flow and historically underserved student populations, in particular students in foster care and kids of coloration. Therefore, we want to accept the role that educators and child welfare gurus have extended performed in supporting the psychological health and fitness of college students of all ages and families just before and all through the pandemic. We further more emphasize how vital it is to be certain that the gurus who assist college students and people also have access to the companies wanted to foster their personal psychological wellness. We will proceed to share and uplift very best practices and means3 aimed at supporting the wellness and mental overall health requires of pupils, their households, and the child welfare and training gurus who guidance them.

Although the pandemic additional stress to the lives of pupils in foster care and the grownups who support them, it also resulted in an influx of methods becoming obtainable to enable these students. State instructional companies and university districts can use Elementary and Secondary College Emergency Reduction (ESSER) Funds, like the ESSER funds allotted less than the American Rescue Prepare Act of 2021, to give an array of supports to college students in foster treatment to assist them navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Particulars are available listed here. In addition, the Full-Company Local community Universities[4] program increases the coordination, integration, accessibility, and performance of products and services for young children and family members via mother or father management, spouse and children literacy, mentoring, youth growth applications, and functions that can make improvements to entry to and use of social services courses, packages that encourage loved ones fiscal steadiness, and psychological well being companies. Even further, President Biden’s proposed spending budget for the U.S. Department of Instruction for Fiscal Yr 2023 features $30 million selected for a new program made to boost the instructional outcomes for college students in foster treatment. ED believes this program will allow educational companies to create partnerships with baby welfare organizations to far better handle the one of a kind needs of college students in foster treatment. At last, additional funding for the Chafee Foster Treatment Plan for Successful Transition to Adulthood, presented as a result of Division X of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, also stays obtainable by way of expenditure by way of September 30, 2022. Facts on this funding is available right here.5

In summary, ED and HHS are fully commited to extending our collaboration in tangible methods at the federal stage. Our companies intend to co-host a webinar this fall – co-intended with youthful older people who skilled foster care – to share very best tactics on how point out and local community companions are building tutorial programming for students in foster treatment. Through this webinar, we hope to boost knowledge of the ordeals of college students in foster care underscore the relevance of interagency collaboration at the federal, condition, and community amounts to aid this university student inhabitants and demonstrate powerful partnerships between child welfare and instructional businesses. 

To find out far more about our agencies’ shared commitment to make sure that college students in foster care are equipped to fulfill their comprehensive academic prospective, please stop by our webpages at https://oese.ed.gov/offices/business office-of-formula-grants/faculty-assistance-and-accountability/pupils-foster-care/ (ED) and https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/provider-array/training-providers/educational-balance/ (HHS).   


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

2 Education in a Pandemic: The Disparate Impacts of COVID-19 on America’s College students https://www2.ed.gov/about/places of work/checklist/ocr/docs/20210608-impacts-of-covid19.pdf.

3 Children’s Bureau (2022) Tip Sheet on Responding to Youth and Younger Grownup Mental Well being Desires. Division X. Technological Aid.

4 Place of work of Elementary and Secondary Training, Total Assistance Local community Schools Programs.  https://oese.ed.gov/offices/place of work-of-discretionary-grants-aid-expert services/university-choice-improvement-plans/comprehensive-company-group-colleges-program-fscs/.

5 ACYF-CB-PI-21-04. Steering and instruction related to the Supporting Foster Youth and Households by the Pandemic Act, Division X of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Community Regulation (P.L.) 116-260, enacted December 27, 2020.



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