Lawmakers work together to improve educational outcomes for foster youth.
The recently formed Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth has introduced legislation critical to unleashing the educational potential of students in foster care.
A group of federal lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have found common ground on critical legislation that promises to streamline information exchange between education and foster care.
The Access to Papers Leads to Uninterrupted Scholars Act (A+ Act), would eliminate longstanding tension between the protection of personal student records and federal mandates on public foster care agencies. The aim: to help ensure educational stability and success for foster youth.
In 2008, the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act stiffened mandates on child welfare administrations to ensure, whenever possible, foster youth are not bumped from school to school as they bounce from home to home, and that — if a move is in the best interest of the child — his or her records are transferred in a timely manner. As foster care agencies across the country tried to live up to the law’s mandates, they kept bumping up against FERPA, which compels schools and school districts to jump through time-consuming hoops before releasing data critical to social workers.
For experts, advocates and administrators, the new legislation is an opportunity to change the way foster care and education work together towards the shared goal of improving educational outcomes for foster youth. Further, the A+ Act would allow for inter-agency data sharing, which experts agree would increase the chance of successful interventions to improve the dismaying educational outcomes students in foster care face.
Read the full article at the Chronicle of Social Change
Tags: A+ act, Access to Papers Leads to Uninterrupted Scholars Act, congressional caucus on foster youth, ecucation, educational advocacy, foster care, foster youth, fostering connections to success, san francisco court appointed special advocate program