The start of a new school year can be an exciting time for a student, but for a student in foster care, additional steps and guidance may be needed to ensure a positive experience and educational success. Below are resources to help guide attorneys and judges through intersecting issues in child welfare and education from pre-kindergarten through higher education.
Foster Care and Student Success Guide
The Texas Education Agency (TEA), in collaboration with the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and the Children’s Commission, updated the Foster Care & Student Success Guide in 2022. The TEA website includes a broad overview of each chapter for easy navigating and exploration of specific topics. TEA also launched a supplemental online Training Series on the guide; prior training sessions are archived and available for review.
Local Points of Contact
DFPS Education Specialists help students in foster care and serve as resources for DFPS staff, caregivers, and community stakeholders. DFPS has a resource page that includes contact information for the DFPS Regional Education Specialists.
School district Foster Care Liaisons facilitate enrollment of students in foster care and encourage best practice strategies for serving students in foster care. For more information, please visit the TEA webpage on Foster Care Liaisons.
Higher Education Foster Care Liaisons bridge the gap for students who want to pursue higher education and need additional support to obtain a certificate or degree. For contact information, please visit Higher Education Foster Care Liaisons.
Texas School Readiness Dashboard
Texans Care for Children created a Texas School Readiness Dashboard that examines multiple factors that influence school readiness for children under age 6 including sufficient household resources, positive adult-child interactions, good health and development, and enriching early learning experiences.
Students in Residential Treatment Centers
A Top 10 “Things to Know” series addresses the educational needs of students in foster care who are placed in Residential Treatment Centers (RTCs). There are three lists in the series: one for providers, one for educators, and one for legal professionals. Each list includes a high-level quick reference sheet as well as a more detailed explanation with additional information.
For current and former students in foster care who are seeking postsecondary educational paths, Education Reach for Texans offers resources and guidance for financial and other supports.
For those youth ages 16 to 25 who are looking for alternative opportunities, the Transition Centers operate as local one-stop service centers to help youth with job readiness and job search assistance, higher education enrollment assistance, food and housing assistance, and mentoring.