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Resources from DCF

General Overview: Education Policy for Children birth through 22, Revised 1/12/15

Overview for Schools: Education Policy for Children birth through 22, Revised 1/12/15

DCF Tip Sheet: Education Decision-Making Roles – Who Can Sign What

DCF Notice to LEA (Local Education Agency)
Notice sent from DCF to LEAs when a child in DCF care and custody has (1) entered or changed placement or (2) is entering or transferring to a new school. The form includes information about special education status and requires the following attachments, as applicable: for a child in DCF custody, a copy of the court order, for a child in a DCF open case or care, authorization to release information signed by parent/guardian; and, in both case, any recent testing or evaluations completed concerning the child’s suspected disability and eligibility for special education services.

Youth Adult Readiness  Assessment

DCF Education Policy for Children Birth through 22
Policy developed with cross section DCF staff and parent representation. Reflects the following federal laws: No Child Left Behind, McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Acts, The Disabilities Education Improvement Act, and Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoption Act, as well as MA state regulations.

DCF Educational And Vocational Support Services
The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families offers a variety of supports to help foster youth finance their post-secondary education.

DCF Education Policy Summary
A summary of the recent changes to the DCF Education Policy.

DCF Tip Sheet: Promoting Educational Stability and Success – Discussion Questions for Foster Care Review
Guide for discussion about how to encourage healthy social/emotional development, and how to promote school readiness and school engagement for DCF children and youth. This is also a useful document for foster parents and anyone working with DCF-involved children.

DCF Tip Sheet: Educational Planning for DCF-Involved Students
Designed to assist DCF professionals in helping assure that DCF-involved students have opportunities available to them to be successful in school and enable them to complete high school with a plan for post-secondary education, training or employment.

Letter to State School Directors and Child Welfare Directors from US Department of Education and US Administration for Children and Families, May 30, 2014
Reminds state officials of their obligations to children in foster care. Emphasizes to LEAs that Fostering Connections requires improved coordination between state child welfare agencies and LEAs. Urges states to raise awareness towards improving educational outcomes for children in foster care. Includes discussion of a new federal web site dedicated to Students in Foster Care (http://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/foster-care/index.html) and a site devoted to the Uninterrupted Scholars Act (http://www.nrcpfc.org/teleconferences/2013-7-11/theuninterruptedscholarsact.pdf) designed to help more easily enroll foster children in new schools.

Promoting Educational Stability and Success for Students in Foster Care, June 2014
Jointly developed document from MA DCF and MA DESE with current information on improving educational success for children in foster care.

Memorandum issued jointly by the Commissioners of MA DCF and DESE regarding Promoting Educational Stability for DCF-Involved Children and Families, June 2012
Memo to DCF staff, Superintendents, Directors of Charter Schools and Other Interested Parties regarding efforts by the state to implement, Fostering Connections to success and increasing Adoption Act, passed in 2008

DCF Tip Sheet: Determining Special Education Decision-Makers for Children Placed with Foster Families
Designed to help social workers in determining who should make educational decisions for a child in DCF care or custody who is placed with a foster family and has an IEP or is being evaluated for special education services.

Guidance on Appointment of Special Education Surrogate Parents
DCF and DESE document describing the SESP program and circumstances under which an SESP will be assigned to a child in the care or custody of DCF. Also defines the relationship between students and SESPs when the student turns 18.