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1 Plenary Session I: The Education of Children and Youth Served by Neglect and At-Risk Programs Liann Seiter, NDTAC, and Kathleen McNaught, ABA.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Plenary Session I: The Education of Children and Youth Served by Neglect and At-Risk Programs Liann Seiter, NDTAC, and Kathleen McNaught, ABA."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Plenary Session I: The Education of Children and Youth Served by Neglect and At-Risk Programs Liann Seiter, NDTAC, and Kathleen McNaught, ABA

2 2 Agenda Who is served by Part D neglect and at-risk programs? Education of youth in the foster care system Funding and examples of Part D neglect and at-risk programs

3 3 Definition of Neglect Program The term “institution for neglected or delinquent children and youth” means— A public or private residential facility, other than a foster home, that is operated for the care of children who have been committed to the institution or voluntarily placed in the institution under applicable State law, due to abandonment, neglect, or death of their parents or guardians; or SUBPART 3: SEC DEFINITIONS

4 4 Definition of Neglect Program (cont.) The term “institution for neglected or delinquent children and youth” means— A public or private residential facility for the care of children who have been adjudicated to be delinquent or in need of supervision. SUBPART 3: SEC DEFINITIONS

5 5 Definition of Youth Who Are At-Risk The term “at-risk,” when used with respect to a child, youth, or student, means a school-aged individual who SUBPART 3: SEC DEFINITIONS Academic Risk FactorsOther Risk Factors Is at risk of academic failure Is at least 1 year behind the expected grade level for his or her age Has limited English proficiency Has dropped out of school Has a high absenteeism rate Is pregnant or is a parent Has a drug or alcohol problem Is a gang member Has come in contact with the juvenile justice system in the past

6 6 Similar Needs and Challenges Across Programs

7 7 Age Breakdown by Program Type for Title I, Part D in SY 2012–13 (Preliminary)

8 8 Racial Ethnic Breakdown by Program Type for Title I, Part D in SY 2012–13 (Preliminary)

9 9 Similar Needs and Challenges Across Programs (cont.)

10 Education of youth in the foster care system Kathleen McNaught, ABA

11 Legal Center for Foster & Care Education  Collaboration of American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law Education Law Center (PA) Juvenile Law Center Annie E. Casey Foundation Casey Family Programs  A national technical assistance resource and information clearinghouse on legal and policy matters affecting the education of children and youth in foster care Listserv, Training Materials, Conference Calls and Webinars, Publications, Searchable Database (includes state laws & policies) Website: Website

12 Who is in the foster care system?  60% will return home  50% stay in care for less than a year^ 2014 National Working Group on Foster Care and Education ^ U.S. Department of Health and Human Services AFCARS report

13 The Whirlwind of System Involvement Removed from home/parents/siblings  May not have had chance to say goodbye  Uncertain about where parents/siblings are Living with strangers  In strange house/room/bed/institution  Different customs/routine, other children in home  Institutional settings may be unsafe Few or no possessions Uncertainty about future  How are my siblings and parents  Where will I live?  Will I return home? Ongoing mobility And in addition to all this “WHERE WILL I GO TO SCHOOL?

14 Children in foster care are struggling academically  Estimated about ½ of youth in foster care complete high school by age 18 (compared to 70% of youth in the general population).  Fifteen-year-olds in out-of-home care were about half as likely as other students to have graduated high school 5 years later, with significantly higher rates of dropping out (55%) or incarcerated (10%).  Youth in foster care on average read at only a seventh grade level after completing 10th or 11th grade.  Two to four times more likely to repeat a grade.  Far less likely to enter into, and complete, post secondary education. 14

15 Barriers to Educational Achievement for Court-Involved Youth  Lack of placement stability  Delayed enrollment  Children with special education needs do not access/receive services  Over-representation in alternative education  Poor on-site educational programs

16 Blueprint for Change: Education Success for Children in Foster Care  8 Goals for Youth  Benchmarks for each goal indicating progress toward achieving education success  National, State, and Local Examples

17 Blueprint for Change: Goals for Youth Goal 1: Remain in the Same School Goal 2: Seamless Transitions Between Schools Goal 3: Young Children Are Ready to Learn Goal 4: Equal Access to the School Experience Goal 5: School Dropout, Truancy, and Disciplinary Actions Addressed Goal 6: Involving and Empowering Youth Goal 7: Supportive Adults as Advocates and Decisionmakers Goal 8: Obtaining Postsecondary Education

18 New HHS and Department of Education Joint Letter: May 2014  Emphasizes the importance of educational stability and that implementation requires a partnership between education and child welfare agencies.  Clarifies that state and local education agencies have a legal duty to help implement the educational requirements under Fostering Connections. (“the Fostering Connections Act imposes specific obligations” on both child welfare agencies and local educational agencies).  Directs SEAs to remind LEAs of their obligation to collaborate and coordinate with child welfare agencies connections-letter

19 Legal Tools for School Stability and Continuity  FEDERAL CHILD WELFARE LAW Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act  FEDERAL EDUCATION LAW McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

20 Fostering Connections Act  Every child’s case plan must include “assurances that the placement of the child in foster care takes into account the appropriateness of the current educational setting and the proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement.”  Child welfare agency must coordinate with school to ensure child remains in the same school unless not in the child’s best interest.  Child welfare agency may use federal funds to provide reasonable travel for children to remain in their school of origin.

21 Fostering Connections Act (continued)  If remaining in same school is not in child’s best interests, child’s case plan must include assurances that the child welfare agency and local education agency will:  provide immediate and appropriate enrollment in a new school; with  all of the educational records of the child provided to the school.  All IV-E eligible children must be full-time elementary or secondary school student or have completed secondary school.

22 Direct Fostering Connections Questions: What do we do when…  Children come into care and need a living placement? Identify placements that keep child within school catchment area/district Stabilize living placements and minimize placement disruptions  Living placements do change and child is placed outside of school catchment area/district? Make best interest determination about which school a child should attend (factors to consider, individuals to involve)

23 Direct Fostering Connections Questions: What do we do when… (continued)  It is best for a child to stay in the same school even when living out of district? Address barriers to keeping a child in that school Address transportation issues  It is best for a child to be re-enrolled in a new school? Make that enrollment immediate and seamless Make sure records follow accurately and timely

24 Some Additional Questions that Emerge from Fostering Connections What are the unique needs of our youngest children in foster care and how do we meet those needs? How do we ensure the right supports are in place for children in care, in particular supports that are trauma informed? How do we support children in foster care who have special education needs? How do we put children in care on track for completing high school and entering post secondary or training opportunities? How do we ensure that children in care who enter post secondary education successfully complete their education

25 McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act  Rights: Remain in school of origin, regardless of residency; Transportation; Immediate enrollment, without typically required documents; District liaisons and state coordinator  Eligibility: (Among others) children living in emergency or transitional shelters; children abandoned in hospitals; children “awaiting foster care placement”

26 Data and Information Sharing

27 Data and Information Sharing (continued) Different types of data and information sharing are taking place to support children in foster care:  State level efforts to identify aggregate level data on the outcomes for children in care (California- Invisible Achievement Gap; /DMX/Download.aspx?portalid=0&EntryId=1954&Command=Core_ Download, Nebraska; Arkansas)Invisible Achievement Gap  Local level real time data sharing across agencies designed to be tool to front line staff who work directly with children and youth. Also separate data system that identifies living placement options in school districts (Cincinnati, Ohio; San Diego and Sacramento, CA)

28 Data and Information Sharing (continued 2) Child/student specific data sharing models Real time access to records by caseworkers Frequent data-exchange for case management and reporting System level sharing and accountability State Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) education elements (Unique Education Identifier) State or local education agencies disaggregating education outcome data for children in care Statewide “report-card”

29 FERPA  Protect privacy interests of students’ education records.  Prohibits schools from disclosing personally identifiable information from students’ education records without the written consent of a parent or eligible student, unless an exception to general consent rule applies. 20 U.S.C. § 1233g; 34 CFR Part 99

30 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)  Effective January 14, 2013, the Uninterrupted Scholars Act (USA) includes two important changes: USA creates a new “child welfare exception” USA eliminates duplicative notice for the “court order exception”

31 FERPA – new provisions  Information can be released without parental consent to: “an agency caseworker or other representative of a State or local child welfare agency, or tribal organization… who has the right to access a student's case plan when such agency or organization is legally responsible, in accordance with State or tribal law, for the care and protection of the student provided that the education records, or the personally identifiable information contained in such records, of the student will not be disclosed … except to an individual or entity engaged in addressing the student's education needs….

32 Education Agency Examples Education Curriculum and Training  Casey Family Programs: Endless Dreams Casey Family Programs: Endless Dreams  Educator Screen and Toolkit educational-needs-students-child-welfare-system (Pennsylvania) Educator Screen and Toolkit School-based liaisons  McKinney-Vento  State law created education liaisons (Texas, Colorado, Missouri)

33 Education Agency Actions Trauma-Informed Curricula  Compassionate Schools Initiative (Washington) Compassionate Schools Initiative Provides training, guidance, referral, and technical assistance to help educators more effectively reach and teach vulnerable students Not a program, but a process to cultivate a culture and climate that benefits all students.  Trauma Sensitive Schools (Massachusetts) Trauma Sensitive Schools

34 Contact Kathleen McNaught

35 35 Administration of Title I, Part D Neglect and At- Risk Programs: Funding and Examples Liann Seiter, NDTAC

36 36 Administrative Aspects of Neglect and At-Risk Programs Neglect Programs Funding of neglect programs through Part D and Part A Which States use Part D funds for neglect programs? What are States doing with their Part D funds to serve youth who are neglected? At-Risk Programs Funding of at-risk programs through Part D Which States use Part D funds for at-risk programming? What are States doing with their Part D funds to serve youth who are at risk?

37 37 Neglect Programs

38 38 Funding for Youth Who Are Neglected Under Title I, Part A Title I, Part A, Section 1113(c)(3)(B) requires a local education agency (LEA) to reserve Part A funds to provide services to children and youth in local neglect institutions that are comparable to services provided in Title I schools There is no set formula for calculating how much an LEA must reserve The amount set aside must be sufficient to ensure comparability to Title I services in the LEA’s community Title I schools

39 39 Title I, Part D vs. Part A Reservation for Serving Youth who are Neglected Part D allows LEAs to serve children and youth who are neglected with Part D funds, however it does not require it Part A requires that LEAs serve children and youth who are neglected The reservation requirement in Part A is a stand- alone requirement and cannot be fulfilled by activities under Part D

40 40 Supplemental Services and Comparable Services Part DPart A Funds may be used for a broader purpose than comparable services in a State or local neglect program Funds are used within a local neglect facility to provide comparable services A state education agency (SEA) may allow a neglect facility to use Part A funds to provide comparable services and Part D funds for supplemental activities (such as transition services, delinquency and dropout prevention, and peer mediation)

41 41 States Using Part D Funds for Neglect Programs

42 42 States Using Part D Funds for Neglect Programs (cont.) Number of States Average Number of Neglect Programs Subpart 1 only86 Subpart 2 only1732 Both Subparts617 No Neglect Programs21n/a

43 43 What are states doing with their Part D funds to serve youth who are neglected? Summer school programming Career and vocational training Tutoring (offered through LEAs) Supplemental reading and mathematics instruction to assist youth who are academically behind Academic technology programs Educational behavioral support counseling Transition coordinator/transition activities Instructional support and materials

44 44 At-Risk Programs

45 45 Part D Funding of At-Risk Programs At-risk youth are not included in the annual count for Subpart 2; States that use formula funding typically do not serve at-risk youth with Part D funds Some States have provided funding to at-risk programs by: –Using a portion of funds generated by counts from N & D programs for at-risk programming –Allowing individual LEAs to choose to fund at-risk programs –Using a “bump” in Part D funding at the SEA for at-risk programming

46 46 Considerations When Choosing to Fund At-Risk Programs You may encounter potential pushback from facilities that serve youth who are neglected or delinquent if their funding is reduced –There may be economic, social, and youth-specific justification to use funds to reduce the incidence of delinquency/recidivism –Programs that support youth who are at-risk may align with State, Federal, or agency priorities The State may add metrics to the CSPR data collected to better measure the success of at-risk programming at the elementary and middle school levels

47 47 States Using Part D Funds for At-Risk Programs

48 48 What are states doing with their Part D funds to serve youth who are at-risk? Placing educational advocates in schools who provide counseling support, case management, academic coaching, and referral to students who are at risk of dropping out of school Placing Health Service Case Managers in elementary and middle school who provide services to youth who are at risk of dropping out due to severe health conditions

49 49 Breakouts BreakoutTopic I–A Serving the Needs of Children and Youth in Neglect Programs at the SA Level I–B Serving the Needs of Children and Youth in Neglect and At-Risk Programs at the LEA Level I–C Serving the Needs of Crossover Children and Youth


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