Enrollment of Students in Foster Care (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE)
The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act is a federal mandate that ensures school stability for children in out-of-home care. The act requires child welfare agencies (i.e., department of social services, child-placing agencies, etc.) to coordinate with local educational agencies (Iocal school divisions) to ensure educational stability for every child in foster care. The Code of Virginia was amended in 2011 to mirror the educational stability component of the Fostering Connections Act.
Summary of education provisions of Fostering Connections:
Requires state child welfare agencies and local education agencies to immediately coordinate efforts to improve educational stability and outcomes for children in foster care in four primary areas:
- School enrollment;
- School stability; an assurance that each placement of the child takes into account the appropriateness and proximity to the current placement of the current educational setting, coordination with the local education agency to ensure that the child can remain in that school; or if remaining in that school is not in the best interests of the child, an assurance to enroll the child immediately in a new school with all educational records provided;
- School transportation; costs of travel to school allowed as part of foster care maintenance payments; and,
- Development of a Transition plan; a plan for educational stability in the case plan for each child in foster care.