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KVC Health Systems

Youth in Foster Care No Longer Have to Change Schools, Even If They Move

Editor’s Note: This article concerns a new federal law. While educational stability for youth in foster care is critical, KVC acknowledges that it could take significant time for funding, transportation logistics, interagency partnerships, and other factors to make its provisions a reality.

The ideal of education for everyone was reaffirmed by President Johnson when he signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in 1965. Despite the goals of ESEA, not all American children have had equal access to quality education. On December 10, 2015, President Obama provided an overhaul to ESEA by signing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

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According to an article in The Atlantic, children in foster care have long been deprived of equal access to quality education and school stability. Kids who change foster homes may have to attend a different school, increasing the potential of falling behind academically. It is estimated that these children lose four to six months of academic progress per move. The ESSA outlines provisions to ensure quality education and school stability for children and youth in state care:

  • Students in foster care can remain in their original school, even if they change foster homes or move to another district.
  • Schools and child welfare agencies will work together to ensure students in foster care have transportation to and from their “school of origin”.
  • If a student in foster care must change schools, their records will be transferred in order to enroll them immediately.
  • A dedicated point person will be identified to ensure the educational wellbeing of the student.
  • Schools, along with state and local agencies, will track educational records and graduation rates for students in foster care.

Click here to read more about how the ESSA will benefit students in foster care from The Atlantic.

As a child placing agency, KVC recruits, licenses, trains and supports foster families to care for children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family challenges. More foster parents are needed in every community in order to keep these children close to their familiar surroundings and in their original school district. If you would like to make a difference in a child’s life and you have some extra space in your home, consider becoming a foster parent! Learn more about becoming a KVC foster parent today in the states where we work: Kansas, Nebraska, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Resources to find out if fostering is right for you