Helping Students in Foster Care Stay in School
It has been five years since Congress passed the Fostering Connections Act. The act provided important guidance to two systems: Child welfare and education. The gist of its message: Keep kids in the same school when they are removed from their families because of abuse or neglect. If you must move them, ensure there are no barriers to immediate enrollment in their new schools. Consider extending foster care—including its educational benefits—to kids up until age 21. And provide more financial help for post-secondary education for young people who have spent time in foster care.
We’ve seen progress over five years but more work is still needed to help children in foster care do better in school. Casey continues to be involved in efforts to support school stability. Why? Because changing school frequently has been shown to reduce achievement—and children in foster care deserve better. For more information:
- Learn the latest from the Casey-supported Legal Center on Foster Care and Education.
- Catch up on state-level advances in reducing school mobility.
- The National Working Group on Foster Care shares a fact sheet, “Education is the Lifeline for Youth in Foster Care.”
- The Uninterrupted Scholars Act of 2013 makes sharing children’s education records easier, so if it is in a child’s best interests to change schools, records can be accessed easily and case workers can better plan for the child’s service needs.
- What works to promote school stability? See what a study of 5- to 8‑year-olds in Philadelphia foster care found.