Who am I? Brian V. Baker, Esq. YRJ is dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable children and families through legal representation and advocacy in the courts, legislature, schools and community.
This training is provided by the PSU School of Social Work, Center for Improvement of Child and Family Services, Child Welfare Partnership. Advisory Notice This training is based on the policies and procedures of the Oregon Department of Human Services Child Welfare program. If you are employed by another agency, we recommend consulting with your agency for guidance.
Learning Objectives Identify educational risk factors of youth in care. Assess the Caseworkers role in advocating for the educational needs of children in Oregons foster care system. Recognize how state, federal and DHS education laws and policies can impact the advocacy role.
Where are you? A. Rural B. Coastal C. Urban D. Suburban
Caseworker advocate role Communicate early and frequently with local school. Observe children on your caseload for educational needs, assessment and possible 504/IEP eligibility.
Caseworker advocate role Obtain and review school file of the child. FERPA Family Education Rights and Privacy Act
Gabriels Case Gabriel should stay in his current school. The distance from his new home to his school in Gresham is 22 miles. How would you facilitate this? What are the benefits of keeping Gabriel in his current school?
Educational Services Policy Preferred school or educational setting. The preferred school or educational setting when a child first enters substitute care is the school or educational setting the child attended prior to entry into substitute care
Education Stability With placement or a change of placement, educational stability is assumed best. If child moves across district line, there is a Best Interest finding by the Court. When is a court order necessary? Stay in current school (court order) Transfer to closer school Alternative School
Best Interest of the Child Distance, Safety, Time Transportation funding (Title IV-E) Current school to highest grade level Connections to current school Health & Safety Benefits of access to new school
Gabriels Case It is now August, and Gabriel is getting ready start Middle School. This is the window of opportunity to transition him into the North Clackamas School District. Based on the school boundaries Gabriel will attend Rowe Middle School.
Where to start Records transfer request and review CF 338, School Record Request – Cover Letter CF 339, School Record Request Enrollment Assistance Communicate with School Access to records can be problematic.
Ensure Enrollment Enrollment is goal. Assist with transfer of education records: IEPs, 504 plans, safety plans, etc. Attend intake, safety or placement meetings. Provide school with CW contact and other team contacts (DD, MH, etc.).
Important Terms to Know 504 impacts ability to access education IDEA: The Individual Disabilities Education Act IEP: Individualized Education Plan LRE: Least Restrictive Environment Terminology Handout compiled by Penny Jordan, Training & Education Consultant
Sec. 504 Students with a broad range of disabilities must have access to school facilities and programs, similar to non-disabled students. Students who are not eligible under IDEA may be covered by Section 504.
Sec. 504 Plans Typically describe accommodations the school will make to facilitate a students learning Most do not include the specially designed instruction (special education services) found in an IEP.
Special Education: 504 Definitions Actual Impairment. History of Impairment. Perceived Impairment. Must substantially impact major life activities such as learning.
Question Which of these is NOT a reasonable accommodation: A. Preferential seating B. Removal of physical barriers C. Materials in alternate formats D. Personal Iphone *
IDEA: IEP Individualized Education Plan/Program: individualized, written education plan with short-term objectives and measurable annual goals. IEP Team: school or parent/surrogate invites. IEP Meetings: occur at least annually, can be more frequent if necessary to address the childs needs.
IDEA: Eligibility Individualized Education Plan: in writing, based on assessment and addresses all areas of concern. Timing: IEP meeting must be held within 30 school days of eligibility determination. Eligibility meeting after assessments completed.
Gabriels Case What do you think? Does Gabriel need assessment? Who can ask for it? Review Gabriels Case Study Part 2
Informed Consent Who is Parent? Informed Consent for Testing: Must be informed and received by parent or education surrogate. Special Education testing begins only upon receipt of informed consent from parent or surrogate. DHS caseworker cannot give consent for testing even though they are legal guardian.
Question? Which of these is NOT an impairment that would qualify for Special Education: A. Vision impairment B. Hearing Impairment C. Inability to Dunk D. Cerebral Palsy
Gabriels Case: Expulsion The school is going to hold a hearing to expel Gabriel. What needs to happen? Review Gabriels Case Study Part 3
Discipline: CW Advocacy Parents/Advocates should: build rapport with staff; review records; determine support services; and obtain district discipline policies. Children facing exclusionary discipline need coordinated team advocacy focused on keeping the child in school.
Discipline: Risks Unidentified school-based disabilities; Minority Overrepresentation; Alienation from school environment; Increased risk of drop out; Increased risk of further suspension; Increased risk of expulsion.
Discipline: Types of exclusion Suspension is any school exclusion up to 10 school days. Expulsion is any removal beyond 10 school days, up to one calendar year. Expulsion can not last longer than one calendar year.
Discipline: Alternatives to Exclusion There are a range of options short of exclusion from school under suspension or expulsion. Problem solving w/ student; Mediation; Conference w/ parent/advocates; School intervention/referrals: mental health and/or alcohol/drug assessments, insight class, reparations, and/or in-school detention. IDEA/504 Evaluation
Educational Services Policy Case Plan Documentation What do you need to document?
CW School Advocacy Wrap Up CW parties involvement essential at every step. Maintain communication with school officials and caregivers, including periodic progress reports and participation in school meetings.
Gabriels Case Wrap-up Gabriel was not expelled. He is currently on an IEP and is doing better in school, both academically and behaviorally.
Thank-you for your time and for your attention!