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Education Outcome Measures for Courts Child Welfare Agency’s Perspective on the Need for Education Outcome Measures Kathleen McNaught ABA Center on Children.

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Presentation on theme: "Education Outcome Measures for Courts Child Welfare Agency’s Perspective on the Need for Education Outcome Measures Kathleen McNaught ABA Center on Children."— Presentation transcript:

1 Education Outcome Measures for Courts Child Welfare Agency’s Perspective on the Need for Education Outcome Measures Kathleen McNaught ABA Center on Children and the Law

2 Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (P.L ) signed into law on Oct. 7, 2008 Most significant federal reform for abused and neglected children in more than a decade Addresses issues of guardianship and kinship care, tribal provisions, health, older youth, and education For more information on implementation of the education provisions visit: cts_initiatives/education/fosteringconnections.html cts_initiatives/education/fosteringconnections.html Copyright 2011 ABA Center on Children and the Law 2

3 School Stability The child’s case plan must include a plan for ensuring education stability:  assurances that the placement takes into account the appropriateness of current educational setting and proximity to the school. 42 U.S.C.A. 675(1)(G)(i)  child welfare agency has coordinated with appropriate local education agencies … to ensure that the child remains enrolled in the school in which the child was enrolled at the time of placement. 42 U.S.C.A. 675(1)(G)(ii).

4 School Stability continued..  If not in best interest to remain, child welfare agency must ensure immediate and appropriate enrollment in a new school, with all of the education records of the child provided to the school.” 42 U.S.C.A. 675(1)(G)(ii).

5 “at the time of placement” September 2011: clarification found in the Reauthorization of the Safe and Stable Families Act. Means initial and any subsequent placement change.

6 ACYF-CB-PI July 9, 2010 – Program Instruction Education Stability Plan must be a written part of the case plan, reviewed every 6 months. Agency should invite school personnel, agency attorneys, guardians ad litem, youth, etc. to discussions about the education stability plan. Agency is encouraged to develop standard and deliberate process for determining best interest and properly documenting the steps taken to make the determination.

7 Enrollment and Attendance State Plan Requirement For all IV-E eligible children (including adoption assistance and guardianship assistance), “assurances that each child who has attained the minimum age for compulsory school attendance under state law…is a full-time elementary or secondary school student or has completed secondary school…” 42 U.S.C.A Elementary or secondary school student includes:  A child enrolled or in the process of enrolling in school  Home schooling, as permitted by state law  Independent study program  Incapable of attending due to medical condition that precludes participation

8 Need for Education Performance Data To know status of how children in care are doing educationally and where their gaps and needs are; To determine if the education provision of Fostering Connections are being implemented; and To be able to track improvements as strategies and policies are implemented.

9 Child Welfare Agencies may need to explore… Changes to SACWIS and state data systems to allow for education information to be collected. How to obtain information from directly education agencies: NCLB requirements for education data for all students; need method to obtain that information for subset of children who are in care. Improved cross system sharing and the role courts can play to assisting, including help addressing confidentiality issues. If courts are tracking their performance through data around education, will impact expectations the court will have of the agency.

10 Addressing Confidentiality Requirements Confidentiality rules of all agencies must be understood and addressed. Example: Family Education Rights and Privacy Act  Frequently cited as a barrier for schools to share information  If parental consent is provided it isn’t a barrier to accessing information  Exceptions exist to the requirement of parental consent (including a court order) that will allow for sharing education information Find partners who see the value and need to share information; together you can comply with confidentiality rules and design a system to share necessary information that respects both privacy and the law.

11 Data Resources  Mythbusting: Downloadable at blications/dataexchange.html blications/dataexchange.html  Solving the Data Puzzle: blications/solvingthedatapuzzle.pdf blications/solvingthedatapuzzle.pdf  Education Court Performance Measures: draft addition to the Judicial Performance Measures Toolkit

12 Contact Information ABA Center on Children and the Law National Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues Legal Center for Foster Care and Education Kathleen McNaught


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