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A Few Facts Almost half of youth in foster care in Pennsylvania do not complete high school.Almost half of youth in foster care in Pennsylvania do not.

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Presentation on theme: "A Few Facts Almost half of youth in foster care in Pennsylvania do not complete high school.Almost half of youth in foster care in Pennsylvania do not."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Few Facts Almost half of youth in foster care in Pennsylvania do not complete high school.Almost half of youth in foster care in Pennsylvania do not complete high school. Only one-third graduate in four years.Only one-third graduate in four years. Youth in foster care are far more likely to:Youth in foster care are far more likely to: –repeat a grade; –score lower on standardized tests; –Have lower grade point averages; and –Earn fewer credits towards high school graduation.

2 Research shows that youth fall 4-6 months behind academically with just one change in school!Research shows that youth fall 4-6 months behind academically with just one change in school! Use Schools as partners in foster parent recruitment within their district.Use Schools as partners in foster parent recruitment within their district.

3 According to a national survey, 25% of foster youth reported that they had been homeless at least one night within 2.5 to 4 years after exiting foster care.According to a national survey, 25% of foster youth reported that they had been homeless at least one night within 2.5 to 4 years after exiting foster care. 3 in 10 of the nation's homeless adults report foster care history.3 in 10 of the nation's homeless adults report foster care history. Approximately 1,000 children age out of foster care or are discharged with a goal of emancipation in Pennsylvania annually.Approximately 1,000 children age out of foster care or are discharged with a goal of emancipation in Pennsylvania annually. Nationally, 24,000 youth “age out” of foster care each year without “proper supports to successfully transition to adulthood.Nationally, 24,000 youth “age out” of foster care each year without “proper supports to successfully transition to adulthood. The number of youth who leave foster care by ‘aging out’ has grown every year since 2001, and the percentage of all foster care exits that are ‘aging out’ has nearly doubled in the last decade.The number of youth who leave foster care by ‘aging out’ has grown every year since 2001, and the percentage of all foster care exits that are ‘aging out’ has nearly doubled in the last decade.

4 Studies show that up to 70 percent of the inmates in the state penitentiary system spent at least part of their youth in the foster care system.Studies show that up to 70 percent of the inmates in the state penitentiary system spent at least part of their youth in the foster care system. Only 4 out of 10 foster youth leave their foster homes with even $250 to their name.Only 4 out of 10 foster youth leave their foster homes with even $250 to their name. Almost 7 out of 10 have no idea where they're going to live.Almost 7 out of 10 have no idea where they're going to live. Nearly half of foster youth reach adulthood without graduating high school.Nearly half of foster youth reach adulthood without graduating high school. – On average, emancipated foster youth earn only about $6,000 a year during their first few years as adults. –Nearly half of them have periods of unemployment during that time, and more than half spend at least part of their first year homeless.

5 McKinney-Vento defines homeless youth as those:McKinney-Vento defines homeless youth as those: –Awaiting foster care placement; –Living with a friend, relative or someone else because the lost their home or can’t afford a home; –Staying in a motel or hotel; –Living in an emergency or transitional shelter or domestic violence shelter; –Staying in substandard housing; –Living in a car, park, public place, abandoned building or bus or train station; or –Living in a campground or an inadequate trailer home, abandoned in a hospital, living in a runaway or homeless youth shelter.

6 Over 70% of C&Y cases are for general neglect which includes housing related issues or concerns.Over 70% of C&Y cases are for general neglect which includes housing related issues or concerns. Children involved with C&Y face a variety of housing issues, many of them that fall under McKinney-Vento.Children involved with C&Y face a variety of housing issues, many of them that fall under McKinney-Vento. Approximately 12.3% of children in Pennsylvania enter foster care each year due to inadequate housing.Approximately 12.3% of children in Pennsylvania enter foster care each year due to inadequate housing.

7 Awaiting Foster Care – What does it mean? Awaiting foster care includes children who are living in:Awaiting foster care includes children who are living in: –Shelters –Emergency care –Interim care –Respite foster care –Evaluative or diagnostic centers or placements for the sole purpose of evaluation

8 The list of examples of “awaiting foster care” placements is not exhaustive.The list of examples of “awaiting foster care” placements is not exhaustive. If the child/youth is awaiting foster care because he placement is not likely to become permanent, they are eligible for McKinney-Vento protections.If the child/youth is awaiting foster care because he placement is not likely to become permanent, they are eligible for McKinney-Vento protections. PDE BEC “Education for Homeless Youth” underscore that the “awaiting foster care placement” provision applies to any placement “not likely to become permanent.”PDE BEC “Education for Homeless Youth” underscore that the “awaiting foster care placement” provision applies to any placement “not likely to become permanent.”

9 Issuance of OCYF Bulletin entitled “Educational Stability and Continuity for Children in Substitute Care”Issuance of OCYF Bulletin entitled “Educational Stability and Continuity for Children in Substitute Care” –Provided guidance and recommendations for county children and youth workers to ensure stability as it relates to school –Provided guidance around McKinney-Vento –Required county children and youth agencies to appoint an “education liaison” as their “central point of contact on education”

10 Development of the Education ScreenDevelopment of the Education Screen –Completed in conjunction with Pennsylvania Child Welfare Training Program, Education Law Center, Juvenile Law Center, Pennsylvania Department of Education

11 Education Screen Purpose is to identify any triggers that a child may need extra help, and that there may be a role for the caseworker in making sure the child gets that helpPurpose is to identify any triggers that a child may need extra help, and that there may be a role for the caseworker in making sure the child gets that help Done on every school age child involved with the child welfare system upon initial contact, as well as at each 6 month reviewDone on every school age child involved with the child welfare system upon initial contact, as well as at each 6 month review

12 Areas Addressed Education recordsEducation records Education stability/prompt enrollmentEducation stability/prompt enrollment Special schools settings/situationsSpecial schools settings/situations Progress towards promotion or graduationProgress towards promotion or graduation Preparation for post-secondary educationPreparation for post-secondary education Need for special education evaluationNeed for special education evaluation Adequacy of special education servicesAdequacy of special education services Need for special education decision-makerNeed for special education decision-maker Need for accommodations for a disability or physical or behavioral health conditionNeed for accommodations for a disability or physical or behavioral health condition

13 Fostering Connections Act vs. McKinney-Vento McKinney-Vento requires school districts to ensure school stability, provide transportation to school of origin, pendency in school of choice while disputes are resolved, immediate enrollment help of school liaisons to enroll, access to Title I, comparable services, etc.McKinney-Vento requires school districts to ensure school stability, provide transportation to school of origin, pendency in school of choice while disputes are resolved, immediate enrollment help of school liaisons to enroll, access to Title I, comparable services, etc. Fostering Connections requires caseworkers to consider proximity and appropriateness of prior school in placing children AND ensure school stability unless remaining in the same school is not in the child’s best interest. Transportation is more limited; no liaisons, no clear mandate on Education – HOWEVER, they have a duty to cooperate to ensure stability.Fostering Connections requires caseworkers to consider proximity and appropriateness of prior school in placing children AND ensure school stability unless remaining in the same school is not in the child’s best interest. Transportation is more limited; no liaisons, no clear mandate on Education – HOWEVER, they have a duty to cooperate to ensure stability.

14 Educational Stability/School Travel Reimbursement Child’s case plan must include provisions to assure educational stability while in foster care.Child’s case plan must include provisions to assure educational stability while in foster care. Requires C&Y to work in partnership with the local school district to allow the child to remain in their home school when doing so is in their best interest.Requires C&Y to work in partnership with the local school district to allow the child to remain in their home school when doing so is in their best interest. –Includes reimbursement for reasonable travel to and from the child’s home school as an allowable foster care maintenance cost. –It is possible that this may be paid to a third party provider.

15 Seek creative solutions to transportation needs.Seek creative solutions to transportation needs. Work with C&Y and other agencies to develop a comprehensive program to ensure transportation.Work with C&Y and other agencies to develop a comprehensive program to ensure transportation. Seek Court orders from C&Y when necessary.Seek Court orders from C&Y when necessary.

16 Key Questions to Consider When Making a Best Interest Determination How deep are the child's ties to his or her current school?How deep are the child's ties to his or her current school? Would the timing of the school transfer coincide with logical juncture such as after testing, after an event that is significant to the child, or at the end of the school year?Would the timing of the school transfer coincide with logical juncture such as after testing, after an event that is significant to the child, or at the end of the school year? How would changing schools affect the student's ability to earn full credits, participate in sports or other extra-curricular activities, proceed to the next grade or graduate on time?How would changing schools affect the student's ability to earn full credits, participate in sports or other extra-curricular activities, proceed to the next grade or graduate on time? How would the length of the commute to the school of origin impact the child?How would the length of the commute to the school of origin impact the child? How anxious is the child about having been removed from the home and/or any upcoming moves?How anxious is the child about having been removed from the home and/or any upcoming moves? What school do the child's siblings attend?What school do the child's siblings attend? Are there any safety issues to consider?Are there any safety issues to consider?

17 Key Questions Continued How long is the child’s current placement expected to last?How long is the child’s current placement expected to last? What is the child’s permanency plan?What is the child’s permanency plan? How many schools has the child attended over the past few years? How many this year?How many schools has the child attended over the past few years? How many this year? How have the school transfers affected the child emotionally, academically and physically?How have the school transfers affected the child emotionally, academically and physically? How strong is the child academically?How strong is the child academically? To what extent are the programs and activities art the potential new school comparable to or better than those at the current school?To what extent are the programs and activities art the potential new school comparable to or better than those at the current school? Does one school have programs and activities that address the unique needs or interests of the student that the other school does not have?Does one school have programs and activities that address the unique needs or interests of the student that the other school does not have? Which school does the student prefer?Which school does the student prefer?

18 Next Steps Continue addressing educational needs for youth in foster care and also those involved with the C&Y system (in-home).Continue addressing educational needs for youth in foster care and also those involved with the C&Y system (in-home). Continue improving relationship/communication between schools and C&YContinue improving relationship/communication between schools and C&Y Finalization of the education screenFinalization of the education screen Training to county children and youth education liaisonsTraining to county children and youth education liaisons Use of Accurint for Family FindingUse of Accurint for Family Finding

19 “The education of our young people in foster care is a crucial framework for future success.”“The education of our young people in foster care is a crucial framework for future success.” “We believe the time has come for the silos of education, child welfare, services for those with disabilities and the judiciary, coordinate their efforts so that the challenging and sometime dismal education outcomes for youth can be turned around.”“We believe the time has come for the silos of education, child welfare, services for those with disabilities and the judiciary, coordinate their efforts so that the challenging and sometime dismal education outcomes for youth can be turned around.”

20 Contact Information Grace GrossGrace Gross Cindi HorshawCindi Horshaw


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