Resource Letter:
For Judges and Attorneys Handling Child Protective Services Cases
September 26, 2018
New and Updated Education-Related Resources
The Children’s Commission’s standing Foster and Education Committee continues its long-term effort to address and improve education outcomes for children and youth in foster care. To this end, the committee’s workgroups have recently developed and updated a few resources designed to better support cross-system collaboration and clarify important education-related benefits and opportunities. Each resource is available on the Children’s Commission website Resources and Reports page under the Foster Care & Education category.
Regional CPS Education Consortia
There are multiple laws, policies, and regulations in place at the federal and state levels to support the education of children and youth in foster care. However, without local communication and collaboration, law, policies, and regulations can fall short. To help make connections at the local level, there are now CPS education consortia in every region of Texas aimed at strengthening ongoing efforts to partner across systems. Although the consortia are organized differently, DFPS, with input from the Foster Care & Education Local Collaboration Workgroup, developed a short guide entitled “ Regional CPS Education Consortia: The Building Blocks to Engaging Community Stakeholders, Improving the Educational Outcomes for Students in Foster Care ” which provides the foundation for building a local collaboration.
Foster Care College Tuition & Fee Waiver Resources
The tuition and fee waiver in the Texas Education Code offers eligible young adults the opportunity to attend any Texas public institution of higher education without the payment of tuition and fees. In response to a concern that the process to activate the waiver is confusing for young adults and higher education professionals, the Foster Care and Education Postsecondary Education Workgroup created a flow chart/process map. The “ Foster Care College Tuition & Fee Waiver Process ” map illustrates the steps needed to activate and apply the waiver.

A short video entitled “ THECB Tuition and Fee Waiver was created by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, in partnership with Sam Houston State University, DFPS, and many other agencies across Texas. The video clarifies the eligibility criteria for the waiver and explains how the waiver can be utilized in Texas. Although the video was created with youth in mind, judges, attorneys, CPS staff, and educators may also find it useful. 
Postsecondary Data Infographic
In 2017, the THECB and DFPS exchanged data for the first time on the outcomes in higher education of youth formerly in foster care. The UT Institute for Child and Family Well-being, with input from the Foster Care and Education Postsecondary Education Workgroup, developed an infographic entitled “ The Road to College: Texas Foster Youth & Post-Secondary Education ” which details some of the key findings from the first data match.
Higher Education Foster Care Liaisons Guide Update
The need for information sharing and communication to support postsecondary success must be balanced with respect for confidentiality. First released in 2017, the “ Texas Higher Education Information and Resource Guide for Foster Care Liaisons ” now contains updated information about information sharing and privacy in the higher education context.
Transition Planning Update
Both child protection and special education systems have detailed laws regarding planning for transitions out of foster care and high school respectively. A side by side “ Transition Planning Guide for Students in Foster Care Receiving Special Education Services ” demonstrates the overlap and differences in transition planning for these two systems, with updates reflecting changes in the law that recently went into effect. 
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For a complete list of  Jurist in Residence Letters  and  Attorney Resource Letters , please visit the Children's Commission website. Information provided by the Children’s Commission should not be read as a commentary by the Supreme Court of Texas or any other court. For more information about the Children’s Commission, please visit our  website .