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Foster Care Education

Improving the Educational Outcomes of Children and Youth in Foster Care

Foster Care Education Program

The Foster Care Education Program, under the Every Student Succeeds Act passed in December 2015, provides support to children and youth in foster care that ensure educational stability and equal opportunity for academic success. Schools, child welfare agencies, communities, and families must collaborate in these efforts to raise awareness and meet the unique needs of children in foster care.

Who’s Eligible?

“Foster care” means twenty-four hours per day temporary, substitute care for the child placed away from the child’s parents or guardians, and for whom DSHS or a licensed or certified child placing agency has placement and care responsibility. This includes any out-of-home care (including a relative or suitable person), so long as the child is under the placement and care responsibility of DSHS, and placed in out-of-home care by DSHS.

Eligible Students’ Rights

  • Attend school in the attendance area where they are currently living.
  • When in the best interest of the child, attend the school of origin (the school they attended at the time they entered care), or the school in which they were last enrolled.
  • Immediate enrollment and support from district Foster Care Liaison in obtaining school records and coordinating services.
  • Receive transportation to their school, if necessary.
  • Free school meals.
  • Services for English Language Learners, Special Education, and/or Gifted Education.
  • Receive tutoring services focusing on academic assistance.
  • Support with on-time grade progression and graduation of students.

Additional Resources

  • State of Washington, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)
  • Stacey Klim
    Program Supervisor of Foster Care Education
    State of Washington OSPI
  • Treehouse, Provides academic support for foster care children and youth
  • YMCA, provides wrap around intensive mental health and support services for foster youth who qualify