Engaging and Supporting Students in Foster Care
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) emphasizes the educational stability of vulnerable students, including those in foster care. Encouraging youth to be engaged in education decision making and planning helps them take an active role in their educational future and increases educational stability and success.
Engaging and Stabilizing Supports for Students in Foster Care
Educational stability is essential to the overall well-being of students in foster care. Students in foster care utilize services provided by schools for access to transportation, meals, health care, social and emotional supports and connection to peers and trusted adults. Ways to provide additional engaging and stabilizing supports for students in foster care include:
- Ensure contact information for foster families, caregivers, guardian ad items (GALs) and other individuals close to students in foster care are current in districtwide email listservs, call lists and the Student Information System.
- Check in regularly and consistently with students in foster care. Ensure students in foster care can stay connected to trusted adults (coaches, mentors, teachers, school staff).
- Monitor the attendance and engagement of youth in foster care. If a student in foster care is experiencing a change in placement, educational stability is vital to their overall well-being and success. See the Department of Education and Workforce’s Student Attendance Support guidance.
- Ask students what they need to feel healthy and safe. Assist in connecting them with other community resources, including housing, food or necessary items if appropriate.
- Strengthen connections with caseworkers and the county custodial agencies in your area. Reach out when necessary to ensure there are comprehensive services and plans in place for foster youth and families. Collaborate with caseworkers to meet the individual needs of foster youth.
Supports for Caregivers of Students in Foster Care
Family and caregiver engagement is essential for students in foster care. It is important to consider additional outreach to foster families, caregivers and kinship providers. Ways to provide additional engaging and stabilizing supports include:
- For a wide range of evidence-based family engagement strategies, visit the Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center website.
- Update school district webpages and social media to promote supports available for youth and families in the local area.
- Ask caregivers what they need to feel healthy and safe. Assist in connecting them with other community resources, including housing, food or necessary items if appropriate.
Supports for Students in Foster Care Progressing Towards Self-Sufficiency
Early Learning Supports for Students in Foster Care
Ohio Youth Advisory Board Educational Rights
Ohio Foster Youth Bill of Rights
Ohio Youth Ombudsman
Last Modified: 12/1/2023 3:39:35 PM