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Child Welfare, Education and the Courts: A Collaboration to Strengthen Educational Successes of Children and Youth in Foster Care

September 14, 2011
November 3-4, 2011
Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel

Purpose of the Meeting:
The Children’s Bureau, in partnership with the Department of Education, is holding a two-day meeting, setting forth a call to action that will convene leaders in the child welfare, education and juvenile court systems for every State, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. With a focus on children and youth in foster care, the purpose of this meeting will be to:
  • encourage participation in enhancing existing cross-system efforts to address educational stability and continuity issues;
  • showcase collaborative projects and initiatives at State and local levels that support educational well-being outcomes; and
  • facilitate development of action plans by each State that set forth strategies for improving educational outcomes.
The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-351) (Fostering Connections) sets forth provisions that address critical education issues. Specifically, Fostering Connections requires that State child welfare agencies:
  • ensure children and youth in foster care are enrolled in school or have completed secondary school;
  • consider education stability in case plans and when identifying foster care placements;
  • address transportation issues and costs, when required to maintain a child in his or her school of origin; and
  • coordinate with local education systems to ensure children and youth can remain in their school upon placement into foster care, or if remaining in that school is not in the best interest, that the child is enrolled immediately in a new school with all of the educational records being provided.
These mandates represent significant new requirements for State child welfare agencies and provide an opportunity to improve and enhance cross-systems collaboration among State child welfare agencies, juvenile courts and education systems.
Goals of the Meeting:

This meeting will bring together leaders of the three systems to:
  • expand understanding of each system and the individual and collective opportunities to contribute toward the betterment of educational outcomes for children in foster care;
  • gain insight into youth’s perspectives on what supports have aided in their educational success;
  • familiarize participants with the educational provisions of Fostering Connections;
  • increase awareness of meaningful collaborative initiatives and programs affecting educational outcomes, specifically addressing the requirements of Fostering Connections; and
  • develop action plans for moving forward with specific goals that they will collaboratively champion in their respective organizations.

Who Is Invited to Attend:
The invited participants will be given the opportunity to convene as “State Foster Care Education Teams”, representing their respective State. We will ask leaders from each State Child Welfare Agency, Dependency Court Improvement Program, and Education Agency to identify members representing their system in the State Foster Care Education Teams. We look forward to having three child welfare members, three education members and two court members in every team. These teams will have the unique opportunity to work together in developing action plans aiming to serve as roadmaps to increasing collaborative supports for children and youth in foster care.

About the Meeting:
When: November 3-4, 2011
Where: Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel
2800 South Potomac Avenue
Arlington, Virginia 22207
Phone: (703) 413-1300

For More Information:
Please contact Taffy Compain, National Foster Care Specialist at: or (202) 205-7793.


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