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 The Honorable Rob Hofmann, Associate Judge, Child Protection Court of the Hill Country, and Chair, Texas Blueprint Implementation Task Force  Kathleen.

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Presentation on theme: " The Honorable Rob Hofmann, Associate Judge, Child Protection Court of the Hill Country, and Chair, Texas Blueprint Implementation Task Force  Kathleen."— Presentation transcript:

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2  The Honorable Rob Hofmann, Associate Judge, Child Protection Court of the Hill Country, and Chair, Texas Blueprint Implementation Task Force  Kathleen McNaught, Assistant Staff Director of Child Welfare, American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, and Project Director, Legal Center for Foster Care and Education

3  The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008  National Summit – “Child Welfare, Education and the Courts: A Collaboration to Strengthen Educational Successes of Children and Youth in Foster Care” (November 2011)  The Uninterrupted Scholars Act of 2013

4  Amends Title IV (Parts B and E) of the Social Security Act  Broad-reaching amendments to child welfare law  Important provisions promoting education stability and enrollment for youth in care  Changes child welfare law, but cannot be fully realized without collaboration from education system  42 U.S.C. 675(1)(C)

5  Amends Title IV (Parts B and E) of the Social Security Act  Broad-reaching amendments to child welfare law  Important provisions promoting education stability and enrollment for youth in care  Changes child welfare law, but cannot be fully realized without collaboration from education system  42 U.S.C. 675(1)(C)

6 6  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 reimburse some of the costs for some of the children in care) to provide reasonable travel for children to remain in their school of origin

7 7  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

8 8  Child welfare agencies have heightened responsibilities to focus on and address education issues  Can’t do what they are obligated to do without access to education information and collaboration with education partners  Not just critical for serving individual children; also key for system-level collaboration and approaches

9  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education brought together 52 state teams with state leaders from the fields of child welfare, education, and the courts  Teams developed short and long-term goals to move their state collaboration forward

10  Effective January 14, 2013  Amends the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)  Creates a new exception to FERPA that permits schools to release education records without parental consent to a representative of a state or local child welfare agency, or tribal organization  Applies when the agency or organization is “legally responsible” for the child’s “care and protection”  Clearly includes children in foster care living in out-of- home care

11  The issue of the education needs of children in foster care has been growing in emphasis at the national as well as state levels  Momentum to implement change in Texas is hitting at the right time to benefit from the wave of national momentum and to serve as a state model  There is a lot to learn from other jurisdictions as well

12 “Getting Started” page Database Listserv Areas of Focus: Fostering Connections, Special Education, Data & Information sharing News & Updates

13 www. Google Search

14 Collaboration between ABA, Casey Family Programs, and Annie E. Casey Foundation, in conjunction with the Juvenile Law Center and Education Law Center-PA A national technical assistance resource and information clearinghouse on legal and policy matters affecting the education of children and youth in out-of-home care Listserv, Training Materials, Conference Calls, Webinars, Publications, Searchable Database

15  2007: Supreme Court establishes Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families  2008: Fostering Connections passed by Congress  2009: 3 rd National Judicial Leadership Summit -- Texas team adopts state action plan for improving education outcomes for foster children  2010: Supreme Court creates Education Committee  2012: The Texas Blueprint released  2013: The Implementation Task Force begins its work

16 “This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.’” Martin Luther King, Jr. Letter from Birmingham Jail (1963)

17  Judicial leadership at the highest levels of the State of Texas  The Education Committee’s charge:  Identify and assess challenges, needs, and current best practices  Develop a collaborative model  Recommend  Publish

18 1. Inability to Remain in the Same School 2. Lack of Seamless Transitions Between Schools 3. Not Ready to Learn When Entering School 4. Lack of Equal Access and Lack of Additional Supports 5. More School Dropout, Truancy, and Disciplinary Actions 6. Not Involved and Not Empowered 7. Lack of Clear Education Advocates and Decision-makers 8. Barriers to Post-secondary Education

19 The Honorable Patricia Macias, Chair Judge, 388 th District Court, El Paso, TX The Honorable Cheryl Shannon, Vice-Chair Judge, 305 th District Court, Dallas, TX Howard Baldwin Former Commissioner, DFPS, Austin, TX Joy Baskin Director, Legal Services Division, TASB, Austin, TX Claudia Canales Attorney, Law Office of Claudia Canales P.C., Pearland, TX James B. Crow Executive Director, TASB, Austin, TX Lori Duke Clinical Professor, Children’s Rights Clinic, UT School of Law, Austin, TX Anne Heiligenstein Senior Policy Advisor, Casey Family Programs and Immediate Past Commissioner, DFPS, Washington, D.C. The Honorable Rob Hofmann Associate Judge, Child Protection Court of the Hill Country, Mason, TX April McWilliams** Former Foster Youth, CPS Youth Specialist, DFPS, El Paso, TX Carolyne Rodriguez Senior Director of Texas Strategic Consulting, Casey Family Programs, Austin, TX Robert Scott Commissioner, TEA, Austin, TX Vicki Spriggs* Chief Executive Officer, Texas CASA, Austin, TX Dr. Johnny L. Veselka Executive Director, TASA, Austin, TX *Joe Gagen (until 2012) Former Chief Executive Officer, Texas CASA, Austin, TX **Estella Sanchez (until 2010) Former Foster Youth, San Antonio, TX

20  Judges  Child Welfare  State Education Agency  CASA  Foster Parents/Child Placing Agency  ECI  Head Start  Association of School Boards  Disability Rights  Appleseed  Foster Youth Justice Project  Juvenile Probation Commission  Higher Education Coordinating Board  Workforce Board  Kids’ Attorneys  Parent Attorneys  Former Foster Youth  Casey  Children’s Shelter  Homeless Education Office  Education Attorney  Drop Out Prevention  Charter School  Association of School Administrators  Educators  School Counselors  4-year universities  Youth services

21  Patricia Macias, El Paso  Cheryl Shannon, Dallas  Rob Hofmann, Child Protection Court of the Hill Country  Bonnie Hellums, Houston  Ron Pope, Richmond  Phil Vanderpool, Pampa  Karin Bonicoro, Child Protection Court of Central Texas  Angela Ellis, Houston  Richard Garcia, San Antonio  Virginia Schnarr, Sabine Valley Child Protection Court  Alyce Bondurant, North Texas Child Protection Court  Kim Brown, Fort Worth  Kevin Hart, South Plains Child Protection Court

22 1. Children and youth in care are entitled to remain in the same school when feasible 2. Children and youth in care experience seamless transitions between schools 3. Young children in care receive services and interventions to be ready to learn 4. Children and youth in care have the opportunity and support to fully participate in all developmentally-appropriate activities and all aspects of the education experience 5. Children and youth in care have supports to prevent school dropout, truancy, and disciplinary actions and to re-engage in the education process 6. Children and youth in care are involved and empowered and prepared to self-advocate in all aspects of their education 7. Children and youth in care have consistent adult support to advocate for and make education decisions 8. Children and youth in care have support to enter into and complete post-secondary education

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24  Judicial Practices  Data and Information Sharing  Multi-Disciplinary Training  School Readiness  School Stability and Transitions  School Experience, Advocacy, and Supports  Post-Secondary Education

25  Geomapping – foster homes within school districts  Expedited home studies for teachers interested in fostering  Listserv for school district foster care liaisons  GAL or CASA as the surrogate parent, if child eligible for Special Education  Judicial consideration of education during CPS hearings  Begin post-secondary education discussions in middle school  Include more education information in DFPS court reports  Multi-disciplinary training

26  Texas TRIO  DFPS Education Portfolio to include pre-K records  Texas-specific Foster Youth and Education Website  Multi-Disciplinary Training  DFPS and school policy and practice changes  Exploring data-sharing  Identifying school districts with many foster students  Legislative changes

27  Created by Supreme Court order in December 2012  Duration of 2 years  Develop an implementation plan, which shall include phases for implementing the prioritized recommendations and strategies  Includes:  Hon. Rob Hofmann, Child Protection Court of the Hill Country, Mason, Chair  Hon. Alyce Bondurant, Child Protection Court of North Texas, Wichita Falls  Sarah Abrahams, Casey Family Programs  Joy Baskin, Texas Association of School Boards  Cathy Cockerham, Texas CASA  Lori Duke, Clinical Professor, Children’s Rights Clinic, UT School of Law, Austin  Jenny Hinson, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Austin  Julie Wayman, Texas Education Agency  Others as identified by the Chair, including a representative of the Texas Association of School Administrators, an attorney who represents parents in child abuse and neglect proceedings, a youth formerly in foster care, and a representative of a child placement organization

28  Judiciary  Child Protection Services  Educators and School Administrators  Parents  Children and youth  Community  CASA

29  What should you take from Texas Blueprint and the collaboration begun by the Education Committee?  We want your help.


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