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Students placed in out-of-home care often experience educational disruptions that can impact their academic experiences and outcomes. The Every Student Succeeds ActPDF Document (ESSA) requires that Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and Child Welfare Agencies (CWAs) collaborate to implement policies and practices that minimize those disruptions and preserve students’ opportunities for improved well-being and success in school.

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Required Elements Under ESSA for Youth in Care

Child Welfare and School Collaboration

When schools and child welfare agencies collaborate, students living in out-of-home care benefit from the expertise and insights both agencies working toward educational stability and school success.

School of Origin

Studies have shown that students living in out-of-home care can lose four to six months of academic progress every time they change schools. Educational stability means a student placed in out-of-home care has the opportunity to continue their education with minimal disruption.

Best Interest Determination

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a student should only change schools if remaining in the school of origin is not in the student’s best interest.

Foster Care Transportation

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) amended Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act requires that LEAs receiving Title IA funds collaborate with state or local child welfare agencies on local procedures for transportation for students in foster care. This must be accomplished by ensuring that transportation for children in foster care is provided, arranged, and funded. (ESEA section 1112(c)(5)(B)).

Enrollment & Transfer of Records

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Section 1111(g)(1)(E), states that the enrollment of a child or youth in foster care must not be denied or delayed because documents normally required for enrollment have not been provided. ESEA also states that the enrolling school must immediately contact a child’s school of origin to obtain the relevant records and documentation (ESEA Section 1111(g)(1)(E)(iii)), and the school of origin should immediately transfer those records.

 Youth in Care and Foster Families

 School and Foster Care Liaisons


Youth in Care and Career Guidance


​All children in foster care have been exposed to some form of trauma. The very act of being put in foster care is traumatic for children, because it means the loss of their birth family and often friends, schoolmates, teachers, and everything that is familiar.

Resources for further information on trauma:

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