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California Congresswoman promotes new law to help foster kids stay in school

January 8, 2013  |  SFCASA Blog

One of the bills awaiting President Obama’s signature makes an important change to the laws that govern children in foster care. California Congresswoman Karen Bass of Los Angeles championed the measure.

The new law would allow a social worker access to a young person’s educational record. The original restrictions in the federal education code were designed to protect a child’s privacy.

“The problem,” says Bass, “is that the average youth in the foster care system attends three-to-five high schools. And what winds up happening [to] kids, if they’re transferred and transferred, they wind up repeating course after course after course.” Bass says when you do that to a 14- or 15-year-old, they stop going to school.

The idea for the legislation emerged from a nationwide listening tour, in which foster kids and social workers weighed in on steps Congress could take to improve the nation’s foster care system.

Read more about Representative Karen Bass and the bill at


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