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Division of Family and Children Services: EPAC and ILP Support Programs for Youth in Foster Care Presenter: Kyle Berry, EPAC Program Manager & Gary Frazier,

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Presentation on theme: "Division of Family and Children Services: EPAC and ILP Support Programs for Youth in Foster Care Presenter: Kyle Berry, EPAC Program Manager & Gary Frazier,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Division of Family and Children Services: EPAC and ILP Support Programs for Youth in Foster Care Presenter: Kyle Berry, EPAC Program Manager & Gary Frazier, ILS Presentation to: College Connections for Student Success Conference Date: February 18-19, 2014 Georgia Department of Human Services

2 Vision, Mission, and Core Values Vision Stronger Families for a Stronger Georgia. Mission Strengthen Georgia by providing Individuals and Families access to services that promote self-sufficiency, independence, and protect Georgia's vulnerable children and adults. Core Values Provide access to resources that offer support and empower Georgians and their families. Deliver services professionally and treat all clients with dignity and respect. Manage business operations effectively and efficiently by aligning resources across the agency. Promote accountability, transparency and quality in all services we deliver and programs we administer. Develop our employees at all levels of the agency. 2

3 Educational Programming, Assessment and Consultation

4 The Need for Education Services 5,013 School-Aged Foster Youth (K-12) Retained Suspended or Expelled Multiple School Transfers Failing Standardized Tests Reading below Grade Level IEP or 504 Trauma/Neglect At the end of Federal Fiscal Year 2013, 87% (4,362) of GA foster youth had been referred to and served by EPAC.

5 Educational Programming, Assessment, and Consultation Overview The EPAC Unit provides comprehensive academic support services focusing on improving educational outcomes and the academic achievement of children and youth, ages 5 to 17 in the custody of Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. EPAC services are supported through TANF funding and are initiated through case manager or CPS referrals. Upon initial placement into foster care, children and youth are referred to EPAC for a comprehensive diagnostic educational assessment and subsequently, are monitored for ensuring adequate academic progress.

6 Educational Programming, Assessment, and Consultation Overview (continued) EPAC currently has 14 Education Support Monitors (ESMs) who manage educational services for all school aged youth in care. ESMs are assigned regionally to provide individualized case consultation and to assist case managers in linking children and youth to local education support services, while adhering to local school district policies and procedures. Additionally, EPAC is responsible for procuring educational services from either within the community, local education agencies or EPAC program assigned. During this current fiscal year, EPAC has contracted with over 230 certified Georgia Teachers who provide specific, one-on-one academic support.

7 Educational Programming, Assessment, and Consultation Organizational Structure State Office Personnel Program ManagerKyle D. Berry Asst. Program ManagerJennifer Williams Program AssistantTiffiny Davis Data ManagerNesha Jairan Operations AnalystPrimos Cobb Education Quality MonitorShawn Davison Education Support Monitors Reg. 1-2 Marilyn PetersReg. 3W Christopher JonesReg. 3E (Vacant) Reg. 4 Autumn ShepardReg. 5, 7 Robin BrooksReg. 6, 9 LeAnne Worley Reg. 8 Angela ThompsonReg. 10 Amie HenryReg. 11 Mary Mollay Reg. 12 Tiffiny NelsonReg. 13 (Vacant)Reg. 14 Robin Stewart Reg. 14 Shantel TateReg. 15 Jenny Summerlin

8 Educational Programming, Assessment, and Consultation Services Continuum Referrals Assessments Educational Records DFCS EPAC Action Plan Delivery of Services Resource Management Reevaluation of Educational Need

9 Core EPAC Services 3 Tier EPAC Service Model Contract Monitoring Educational Advocacy Local Resource Management

10 3 Tier Service Model Educational AdvocacyResource ManagementContract Monitoring Diagnostic Educational Assessment & development of Educational Action Plans Educational Resource Coordination EPAC Tutorial Services Training and Staff Development Community Programs & Partnerships Educational Transportation Services Consult and/or attend case staffing, IEP meetings, Transitional Round Tables, etc… Local Education Agencies and GA Department of Education SLDS FLIP/Title 1 Summer School and Credit Recovery Services

11 ACCESS TO ONLINE EDUCATIONAL RECORDS FOR DFCS STAFF Statewide Longitudinal Data System

12 What is the primary purpose of the Georgia SHINES and SLDS connection? To expediently attend to educational needs To improve educational stability To help prepare a brighter future for our children What are the benefits? Access to historical education information Indicator for SWD (student with disability) Academic performance trends — student specific Historical attendance data Access to standardized test scores Access to the unofficial transcript Assist with case planning

13 SLDS – Search Page Launches from SHINES

14 SLDS (continued)

15 DHS POLICY # Educational Stability

16 Educational Programming, Assessment, and Consultation DHS Policy – Education Stability This policy was disseminated to the field on August 1, 2013 It provides practice guidance to direct service workers and all other field staff about Education Stability for children and youth in foster care This policy specifically covers how EPAC, through its Education Support Monitors, engage case managers and provide educational consultation in the following areas: –Collaborations with Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) –Determination of Appropriateness of Educational Settings –DFCS contact for District Level Homeless Liaisons –Assist in development of RTI, IEP, and/or 504 Plans –Homeless and Unaccompanied Youth Referrals –Educational Stability Transportation Funding Request Protocol

17 McKinney-Vento vs. Fostering Connections

18 Homeless and Unaccompanied Youth When a child has been identified as a Homeless and/or Unaccompanied Youth, the following procedure will be followed by the Division of Family and Children Services In-take Officer(s). 1.When an identified homeless or unaccompanied youth has been identified to CPS/In-Take, a referral form (176) will be completed and submitted to Educational Programming, Assessment and Consultation Unit (EPAC). 2.Referral form will be processed by EPAC (Operations Analyst) who will record the provided information in the Homeless & Unaccompanied Youth (HUY) Data System. 3.Based upon the Local Educational Agency identified on the referral, EPAC will contact the appropriate Homeless Liaison who should then direct services for the youth under the guidelines of McKinney-Vento. 4.EPAC/DFCS will periodically check-in with the Homeless Liaison to ensure services were provided to youth.

19 Steps to Ensure Educational Stability Educational Stability Field Guide Educational Stability Checklist Education Transportation Funding Request Protocol

20 Transportation Protocol to Support Educational Stability Educational Stability transportation funds should be used to support the practice of ensuring foster children and youth remain in their home school/school of origin as part of Educational Stability

21 Transportation Considerations Transportation Options Foster Parent Public transportation/Mass Transit Van pools Taxis Private transportation services Determining Factors Age of child/youth Location of placement and distance from school of origin Child/youth’s physical and cognitive abilities Child/youth’s developmental abilities

22 EPAC PARTNERS Internal and External Stakeholders

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24 For more information, please you may reach me (Kyle D. Berry) at: or by at

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26 Independent Living Program Overview The State of Georgia recognized that without appropriate services, planning and support, our youth would not have a successful transition foster care. Our youth showed higher rates of homelessness, unemployment, poverty, delinquent or criminal behaviors and dependence on various types of public assistance. In response, the State of Georgia implemented the standards and support of the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) which provided states with greater funding to prepare foster youth for the transition to adulthood.

27 ILP Mission Is to provide eligible youth with opportunities to successfully prepare for adulthood, by providing appropriate resources and connections with community partners.

28 ILP Outcome Measures Our program comprise of six outcome measures targeting: education attainment; financial self-sufficiency; avoidance of homelessness; positive connections with adults; avoidance of high-risk behaviors; and accessing health insurance. These outcomes assess our performance in the delivery of services and support to ensure successful transitions.

29 Services and Programs To achieve successful outcomes, we provide an assortment of services such as educational workshops/conferences, independent living skills needs assessment, post secondary supports, academic supports, financial assistance, employment programs/training, Individual Development Accounts Matching Program and monitoring of the Written Transition Living Plan.

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31 Eligible Youth for SFY13 A total of 2588 youth were eligible to receive ILP services. Out of the 2588, 2385 youth or young adults in and out of foster care received ILP services/support.

32 ILP Funded Supports/ Services Some ways youth can be supported using ILP funds. This is not an extensive list. Specific monetary limits are based upon availability of funds and the specific needs of the youth. Tutoring, Summer School, Community Activities, Driver's Education, GED Preparation Education & Enrichment Expenses Partial Rental Reimbursement, Utility Deposits, Rental Deposits, Emergency Assistance Transitional Living Tutoring, Tuition, Books, Room and Board, Transportation Assistance. Post Secondary Educational Expenses Savings Account Matching, Stipends. Individual Development Account (IDA)

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34 Education and Enrichment Expenses DESCRIPTIONSPECIFIC SERVICE REQUIREMENT HOW DO YOU ACCESS SERVICES? Summer or Evening School Fees SSCM must obtain approval through the ILS. Once funds have been approved, then the provider can purchase the items, or pay for workshops/ conferences. Original receipts must have the provider and youths signature on them. Receipts are then submitted to the SSCM which will submit to the ILS for reimbursement. Skills Conferences, Trainings, and Workshops  Independent Living life skills, conferences, training, workshops Personal Computers and Printers  Personal computers and printers, if required by the school Graduation Fees Non-Essential Graduation Fees  class ring, senior pictures, announcements/invitations, yearbooks, etc NOT to exceed $ total and youth must have senior classification

35 Education and Enrichment Expenses DESCRIPTIONSPECIFIC SERVICE REQUIREMENT HOW DO YOU ACCESS SERVICES? Tutoring Through EPAC  Tutoring (up to $ academic per year)  Children (ages 5 to 17) must be referred to EPAC  ILP eligible youth ages who are not or become no longer EPAC supported tutoring may be supported by ILP funds SSCM would submit a referral to the EPAC Driver’s Education  $500 limit SSCM must obtain approval through the ILS. Once funds have been approved, then the provider can purchase the items or class. Original receipts must have the provider and youths signature on them. Receipts are then submitted to the SSCM which will submit to the ILS for reimbursement. Enrichment/Safety Activities  Promotes the well-being of ILP eligible foster children 14 and older by providing them with enrichment activities through programs such as Red Cross, YMCA, summer camps/community workshops, church camps, classes (dance, art, sports, band, swimming, karate and music lessons)  Not to exceed $ per activity/fiscal year for non-school related activities.

36 Education and Enrichment Expenses DESCRIPTIONSPECIFIC SERVICE REQUIREMENT HOW DO YOU ACCESS SERVICES? Extra-Curricular Activities Band, band uniforms, instruments, athletics, cheerleading, and school sponsored clubs, etc SSCM must obtain approval through the ILS. Once funds have been approved, then the provider can pay for the services. Original receipts must have the provider and youths signature on them. Receipts are then submitted to the SSCM which will submit to the ILS for reimbursement. Transportation to ILP Activities Transportation to and from ILP Sponsored activities Support Groups Support groups such as Ala-non, Ala-teens, anger management, stress management, parent education, child development, etc Testing/Test Preparation and College Application Fees Testing and test preparation for undergraduate and graduate admission, includes youth who are applying to college, and preparing to take the ACT/SAT

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38 Post Secondary Education Support DESCRIPTIONSPECIFIC SERVICE REQUIREMENT HOW DO YOU ACCESS SERVICES? Tuition, Registration, Fees Tuition, registration, and fees, such as athletic activities, technology, etc Youth must apply for Post Secondary Education by 7/1/13. Applications are provided through the ILS. Books, Supplies, Tools and Equipment Room and Board – On Campus Room and board (on-campus housing) On-campus housing should be paid directly to the vendor (i.e. school, education institution) Room and Board – Off Campus Board Room (off-campus housing), the off-campus housing is limited to ½ the rental rate or $ whichever is less Off Campus Housing should be a reimbursement paid directly to the client upon receipt of payment to the ILS

39 Post Secondary Education Support DESCRIPTIONSPECIFIC SERVICE REQUIREMENT HOW DO YOU ACCESS SERVICES? Uniforms and SuppliesUniforms and supplies for training programs Youth must apply for Post Secondary Education by 7/1/13. Applications are provided through the ILS. Personal Computers/Printers Personal computers and printers, if required by the school Youth must attend a Computer Conference thru the ILP. Tutoring Through EPACTutoring (up to $ academic per year) Stipends – On Campus Subsistence stipend as needed Youth living on-campus with a meal plan are eligible for a $75 stipend monthly Youth living on-campus and do not have an on- campus meal plan are eligible for a $150 stipend monthly Youth must apply for Post Secondary Education by 7/1/13. Applications are provided through the ILS.

40 Post Secondary Education Support DESCRIPTIONSPECIFIC SERVICE REQUIREMENT HOW DO YOU ACCESS SERVICES? Stipends – Off Campus Subsistence stipend as needed Youth living off-campus and do not have an on- campus meal plan are eligible for a $150 stipend monthly Youth must apply for Post Secondary Education by 7/1/13. Applications are provided through the ILS. Transportation Transportation assistance – not to exceed $ per state fiscal year and cannot be used toward purchase, maintenance or insuring of a personal vehicle Testing and Test Preparation Testing and test preparation for undergraduate and graduate admission, includes youth who are applying to college, and preparing to take the ACT/SAT)

41 Youth Educational Achievement Current College Attendees 251 This past school year, the GA Division of Family and Children Services had 35 college youth graduate as well as 264 General Education Development (GED) and high school youth.

42 Open Q & A


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