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1 The Uninterrupted Scholars Act: Promising Information-Sharing Practices Presented by:

2 The Legal Center for Foster Care and Education Collaboration of: – American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law – Casey Family Programs – Annie E. Casey Foundation – Juvenile Law Center – 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 foster care Listserv, training materials, conference calls and webinars, publications, searchable database (includes state laws and policies) Website:

3 Today’s Webinar Why we need to share information How information sharing shapes policies and practice How information sharing can be accomplished How the Uninterrupted Scholars Act can support and facilitate information sharing Models of information sharing – Lessons learned: Yes, this can be done…

4 Why We Need Information Sharing Critical to identifying what is really happening: – Ex. School stability - “Better information = better outcomes” Establishes co-ownership of the issue – Ex: attendance Leverages the resources of both systems Informs and shapes policies of both agencies – Ex: living placements impact school success One system can’t solve the issues alone Sharing information = common goals, more effective strategies & greater accountability of both systems

5 What Could Systems Collect/Share Attendance School history School stability Academic Performance Need for Accommodations Transition Planning

6 Sharing Information Methods Education to Child Welfare Child Welfare to Ed Joint Research Common Data System Accessed by Multiple Agencies (with varying levels of accessibility)

7 Information Sharing Models California: Statewide Information Sharing What They Shared: Education & Child Welfare: Six-step matching process using names, addresses, etc.; Analyzed data of over 43,000 with open episode in foster care during SY What They Learned: Where students in foster care attend school; high rates of school mobility; lower levels of academic achievement & graduation rates than other at-risk groups What They Are Doing: Identifying areas of targeted focus for improving education outcomes & undertaking in-depth look at how foster-care experiences of students are associated with their education outcomes (living placement, length of stay in care etc.) Learn more: or library/the-invisible-achievement-gap-report.pdf?sfvrsn=2www.cftl.org library/the-invisible-achievement-gap-report.pdf?sfvrsn=2

8 Information Sharing Models Allegheny County, PA: – DHS & Pittsburgh Public & Other School Districts What They Share : Real-time daily information sharing: school districts send info to DHS warehouse (personal ID, enrollment info, GPAs, attendance, suspensions, standardized test scores, type & date of IEP What They Learn : school stability by grade, lower attendance & GPAs, lower reading & math proficiency, higher suspension rates. What They Are Doing : Child welfare education screen, attendance alerts & after school programs, Learn more :

9 Contact Information Maura McInerney Education Law Center Ext. 316

10 Improving Education Outcomes for Children in Child Welfare Sarah Zlotnik, MSW, MSPH November 14, 2013

11 PolicyLab at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia “Evidence to Action”

12 Overview Review key education findings from recent brief –Absences –School changes –Challenges to cross-system collaboration Identify recommendations to strengthen educational success for youth in child welfare

13 The Children’s Stability and Well-being (CSAW) study CSAW QUANTITATIVE LONGITUDINAL ANALYSISCSAW QUANTITATIVE LONGITUDINAL ANALYSIS –Followed 407 children ages 3-8 for 24 months, who entered foster care between –Almost 3,400 interviews with caregivers, caseworkers, and teachers –Education Sub-Analysis Subset of 209 school-age children ages 5-8 Linked data records from Department of Human Services, School District of Philadelphia, and foster care provider agencies CSAW QUALITATIVE FOCUS GROUPSCSAW QUALITATIVE FOCUS GROUPS –90 participants –Teachers, counselors, foster parents, and caseworkers Led by David Rubin, MD, MSCE Funded by William Penn Foundation, Stoneleigh Foundation, National Institute of Child Health & Development

14 K EY F INDINGS : ATTENDANCE

15 High rate of absenteeism

16 Definitions of placement stability Early Stable (45 days) Late Stable (45 days to 9 months) Unstable ( >9 months) Note: Any child who reunified home was assigned to a separate “Reunified” category. 16

17 High rate of absenteeism

18 Days out of school driven by absences

19 Absence rate is even higher for children before entry into foster care

20 K EY F INDINGS : SCHOOL CHANGES

21 Numerous school changes within 24 months

22 K EY F INDINGS : CHALLENGES TO CROSS-SYSTEM COMMUNICATION

23 Confusion about policies “I’ve been in some schools that are like, ‘That’s not a problem. Come on in. Let me get your ID. Here’s the counselor. Let me tell you about the child.’ And then I have some other ones that just kind of like, ‘We don’t feel like doing it.’ They’re burdened enough.” Agency Caseworker “I’ve been in some schools that are like, ‘That’s not a problem. Come on in. Let me get your ID. Here’s the counselor. Let me tell you about the child.’ And then I have some other ones that just kind of like, ‘We don’t feel like doing it.’ They’re burdened enough.” Agency Caseworker “But you know they want us to do everything. But yet you call the school up and they’re like, ‘Well you’re not authorized to get this information.’” Agency Caseworker “But you know they want us to do everything. But yet you call the school up and they’re like, ‘Well you’re not authorized to get this information.’” Agency Caseworker "What is the current policy? And then maybe even having some protocols that we would follow in regards to the students that are in foster care.” School Counselor

24 “You go to the school to get a transfer or to see how the kids were doing in school…and they’re like ‘Did you know she hasn’t been to school in like X amount of days? Did you know that they’re failing?...’ So why are you telling me now? What happened before?” Agency Caseworker “You go to the school to get a transfer or to see how the kids were doing in school…and they’re like ‘Did you know she hasn’t been to school in like X amount of days? Did you know that they’re failing?...’ So why are you telling me now? What happened before?” Agency Caseworker Ineffective cross-system communication “My experience is of somewhat frustration in the lack of communication from the agencies involved, including DHS and the social workers and the advocate. Only in emergencies do I get that information, and what’s sorely lacking is a phone call to be proactive…” School Counselor “My experience is of somewhat frustration in the lack of communication from the agencies involved, including DHS and the social workers and the advocate. Only in emergencies do I get that information, and what’s sorely lacking is a phone call to be proactive…” School Counselor

25 Ineffective cross-system communication “I had an individual in my room and I wasn’t aware that he received…that he was a part of the special ed process because that information never came over.” Teacher “I had an individual in my room and I wasn’t aware that he received…that he was a part of the special ed process because that information never came over.” Teacher “And they kind of envision the counselor, I think, as just behind a desk waiting for them to arrive. I don’t know, but it’s just that’s not the reality.” School Counselor

26 Opportunities for action 1.Real-time, comprehensive data-sharing among child welfare, education, and behavioral health 1.Tracking and response protocol for absences, suspensions, and behavioral health issues 1.Integrated service delivery

27 Paving the way in Philadelphia

28 Thanks to the CSAW team and partners CSAW Team –Denise Actie, MSW –Taylor Hendricks, MSSP –Sophia Hwang, MSEd –Christina Kang-Yi, PhD –Jin Long, PhD –Amanda O’Reilly, MPH –Meredith Matone, MHS –Robin Mekonnen, MSW –Kathleen Noonan, JD –Caroline Watts, EdD –Sarah Zlotnik, MSW, MSHP –Cathy Zorc, MD, MSHP CSAW Partners -School District of Philadelphia -Philadelphia Department of Human Services -Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services -PA Council of Children, Youth & Family Services providers -CSAW Advisory Board 28 David Rubin, MD, MSCE CSAW Principal Investigator

29 Resources on PolicyLab’s related work Evidence to Action briefs Improving education outcomes for children in child welfare (2013) - LINKLINK Securing child safety, well-being, and permanency through placement stability in foster care (2009) - LINKLINK Publications The relationship of placement experience to school absenteeism and changing schools in young, school-aged children in foster care. Zorc, O'Reilly, Matone, Long, Watts, Rubin. Children and Youth Services Review. 2013;35(5): Cross-system barriers to educational success for children in foster care: The front line perspective. Noonan, Matone, Zlotnik, Hernandez-Mekonnen, Watts, Rubin, et al. Children and Youth Services Review. 2012;34(2):

30 Sarah Zlotnik, MSW, MSPH PolicyLab The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia 3535 Market Street, 15 th Floor Philadelphia, PA Twitter:

31 Sharing Information Across Education, Child Welfare and Courts Uninterrupted Scholars Act Webinar November 14, 2013 Elaine E. Fink

32 What Is KISR! ? A web of coordinated supports, interventions & protocols within and outside of schools that promote education success and stability for students in foster care.

33 KISR! Partners Hamilton Co. Dept. of Job & Family Services Cincinnati Public Schools Hamilton Co. Juvenile Court Legal Aid Society of SW Ohio

34 Target Population K - 12 students Attend Cincinnati Public Schools Custody of Hamilton County Expanded to include Protective Supervision

35 Detailed MOU among partners provided for comprehensive information-sharing necessary to accomplish program goals Data-Sharing Agreement subsequently created as stand-alone document

36 Cinti Public Schools & Hamilton Co Child Protection Profiles: 33,000 students in 56 schools 250 youth in foster care attend CPS 1800 children in Care or Under Agency Supervision 1100 (61%) are school-aged Race & Income demographics for both systems: 76% children of color and 70% low income

37 KISR! Key Program Components KISR! Liaison in each school 2 Child Welfare Education Specialists Education Court Reports & Jud Bench Card Individual student advocacy through Legal Aid

38 Data Collection Challenges Required a Sense of Humor

39 Learning Partner Dashboard Existing data infrastructure Maintained by Cinti Public Schools 52 Education data points populate daily 13 Child Welfare data points exported weekly

40 Learning Partner Dashboard Individual Identifiers Demographic Profiles School Placement(s) School Changes Enrollment Attendance Grade Level Academic Performance Test Scores Special Education Information Discipline School Disruption Promotion/Retention Graduation Agency Placement(s) Legal Status Termination Status SAMPLE OF DATA POINTS for Education and Child Welfare

41 Flexibility of LPD Reports Target individual students or aggregate group Integrate child welfare and education Generate on quarterly, annual or as needed basis i

42 Individual Students & LPD Reports address individual student data: – Mobility – Attendance – Discipline referrals – Academic performance – Special education status – Type of custody – Length of time in program Flags for students at risk

43 Aggregate Data & LPD Reports addressing KISR! student data in aggregate: – custody status – placement changes – attendance – mobility – at-risk academic indicators

44 Challenges Quality of LPD Reports is dependent on accuracy of data going in Need additional resources to support ongoing capacity to analyze LPD Reports

45 Example of data revealed by LPD Despite home placement that changed 3 times, KISR! student maintained in same school throughout turbulent period

46 Documented Outcomes from LPD Youth Served: 668 Graduation Rates: Every KISR! high school senior graduated from high school in 2012 and 15 in 2013 School Stability: most KISR! students remained in one school throughout year Enrollment: every KISR! student began school on first day of academic year & 2013 Discipline: No expulsions of KISR! students

47 Systemic Changes at Cincinnati Public Schools Immediate School Enrollment School Fees: Automatic Waiver Student & Class Profiles Go extra mile to keep foster youth in school & promote academic success

48 CPS No-Barrier Enrollment Protocol for Youth in Foster Care Ohio Law requires that children in foster care be IMMEDIATELY ENROLLED in school based on submission of a Juvenile Court order placing the child in the custody Job & Family Services. NO OTHER DOCUMENTATION is required!

49 Systemic Changes at Child Welfare Education stability is factor in placement decisions New policy avoids removal of children from school for visitation and discretionary case plan services Protocols to ensure accurate & timely entry of school data into statewide database Caseworkers are better trained on education law

50 Systemic Changes at Juvenile Court Magistrates are trained on education law Focus on academic success & school stability at court hearings Judicial Bench Card for Education Success Youth are engaged in education planning during court hearings

51 Testimonial “I changed schools when I changed foster homes in the middle of my sophomore year in That’s when I became part of KISR! I was scared I was going to fail & I wanted to give up. My KISR! Education Specialist helped me. I passed sophomore year because of KISR! Without that support I would not have made it. Now I’m on track to graduate!” Angela, KISR! junior, January 2013

52 Elaine E. Fink Managing Attorney, Children’s Advocacy Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, LLC 215 E. 9 th Street, Suite 500 Cincinnati, Ohio

53 Cross System Information Sharing Pre and Post: The Uninterrupted Scholars Act Michelle Lustig, Ed.D, MSW, PPSC San Diego County Office Of Education Student Support Services Foster Youth And Homeless Education Services

54 Relationship Between Data Sharing and Educational Outcomes Increased: ◦Awareness ◦Cooperation ◦Collaboration ◦Responsibility ◦Matriculation ◦Academic performance ◦Graduation rates ◦School stability

55 Foster Youth Student Information System (FY-SIS © ) Shared Governance-FY-SIS © Advisory Group Data warehouse SDCOE is responsible for ensuring secure and filtered access: unique screen sets based on user group Restricted access to certain data Security/Firewalls/FTP process

56 Foster Youth Student Information System (FY-SIS © ) Weekly feeds from Child Welfare and Probation Daily feeds from Juvenile Court and (nearly all) 42 school districts User group administrator role User group permissions defined

57 Foster Youth Student Information System (FY-SIS © ) FY-SIS© Contains:  Demographic Information  Assigned Social Worker/Probation Officer  Assigned Attorney  Education Rights Holder  School History including current school  Grades and Attendance  Unofficial Transcript  Health Information  Medications (Restricted)  Well Child History  Immunizations  Placement History (Restricted)  Probation Only: Minute Orders, Conditions of Probation, Waivers and Hearing Dates  California English Language Assessment (CELDT)

58 Foster Youth Student Information System (FY-SIS © ) FY-SIS © Does Not Contain:  Reason for Removal (300 code)  Family of Origin Information  Sibling Information  Psychiatric Diagnosis  Mental Health History  Special Education Information  Discipline Information (planning stages)  Standardized Test Scores*

59 Authorized Users Judges/ Court Clerks Social Workers Probation Officers Attorneys (DLG, APD, PD) School Site Administrators School District Administrators School Police Officers* CASA Group Homes

60

61 Considerations and Lessons Learned Cross System Data Sharing Begin with the end in mind Engagement of all stakeholder groups Agreement of who has legal access to which information Youth (student) concerns and how to address them Determine the best way to meet competing demands, policies, mandates and restrictions

62 Considerations and Lessons Learned Cross System Data Sharing Consideration of who maintains the database who owns the data who owns the intellectual property that is the physical database

63 Thank you! Michelle Lustig, Ed.D, MSW, PPS P F

64 Jessica Feierman, Supervising Attorney, Juvenile Law Center:Juvenile Law Center Maura McInerney, Senior Staff Attorney, Education Law Center-PA:Education Law Center-PA Sarah Zlotnik, Senior Strategist, CHOP PolicyLab:CHOP PolicyLab Elaine Fink, Managing Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio:Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio Michelle Lustig, Manager, Foster Youth and Homeless Education Services, San Diego County Office of EducationSan Diego County Office of Education Legal Center for Foster Care and Education’s website on Data & Information Sharing: Panelist Contact Information:


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