Intersection of Fostering Connections and McKinney-Vento Susie Greenfelder,
Intersection of Fostering Connections and McKinney-Vento Susie Greenfelder, Education Planner MI Department of Health and Human Services Abby Jordan, Regional Grant Coordinator and McKinney Vento Liaison Traverse City Area Public Schools What is the connection? How do we connect? What do the laws say? McKinney-Vento and Fostering Connections Supports education stability for children in out-of-home care.
Both laws recognize the need for school stability and continuity. Differing set of rights and responsibilities (Can pose challenges). The application of one law does not diminish or supersede the other law. Both laws overlap to better address the needs of students in foster care. What does McKinney-Vento law say? Foster Definition Federal Definition: Awaiting foster care placement Michigan
Definition: Same placement less than six months *The six month stability period begins on the date of a new placement. (Ex. If a student is placed in July, they are eligible for M-V services the following school year. The six months starts from the date of the new placement.) District Liaison Roles and Responsibilities Facilitate immediate enrollment and participation, as well as school transportation (if needed) and other homeless education services. Collaborate between school systems, state agencies, and contract providers regarding school transportation to share responsibilities and costs. Coordinate services with any involved state or tribal foster worker, parent,
or guardian identified by the state or tribal agency. Works directly with the Ed. Planner and foster workers to coordinate services for youth in foster care. Seek guidance as needed. School Selection McKinney-Vento Law When a youth is placed in foster care, temporary care, or an emergency placement it is expected that the child will remain in his/her school of origin based on feasibility and best interest. For youth placed in care outside the school of origin-It is expected
that foster care workers or Ed. Planners will collaborate and coordinate with M-V liaisons in both districts PRIOR TO school selection and placement. For youth placed in care within the school of origin-It is expected that foster care workers or Ed. Planners will notify the M-V liaison and school staff of the change in placement and care within 10 school days. Transportation-Update The school of origin is obligated to provide transportation from the new foster care placement to the school for up to six months. Once the six month period ends, school transportation to the school of origin becomes the
responsibility of DHHS. What does the Fostering Connections Law Say? Requires child welfare agencies to coordinate with LEAs to ensure that all children in care remain in the school in which they were enrolled when they were brought into care, if that is in their best interest. Foster Worker Roles and Responsibilities Based on State of MI/DHHS Policy Must make school selection Make reasonable efforts to maintain school of origin Consider appropriate and proximity of school Work with schools to retain school of origin (this includes transportation)
Provide immediate enrollment Within 5 days of foster placement/replacement Provide education records to school within five days of enrollment Contact and communicate with M-V liaison and school staff regarding appropriate placement and enrollment How is a foster placement decision made? CPS (Can be voluntary placement by parent?) Court Placement with DHHS Placement with DHHS or Private Agency for case management Relative placement or foster home
Role of Foster Parent/Relative Provider Contracted by DHHS (are NOT guardians) Right to enroll (at direction of foster care agency) Right to talk with school and be involved in education Do not make education decisions regarding placement/IEP
Can be surrogate in some cases if trained Biological/Legal parents rights vary based on circumstances. Its important to communicate with the foster worker of the student or the Ed. Planner to clarify. Surrogate Parent State Law and DHS Policy State Law (34 CFR 300.30 and 300.519): A parent is a biological or adopted parent, guardian, person acting as parents (such as relative caregiver) or a surrogate parent appointed by the school (ISD). When in foster care, the biological parent is presumed to have authority unless the court has assigned someone else. 34 CFR 300.519.
Public agency case managers or service providers cannot serve as surrogate parents and only private agency providers if ordered by the court. DHS Policy: (FOM 723) The surrogate parent must have received general overview training on the developmental needs, service options, and the legal rights of children eligible for Part C. The surrogate parent may not be employed by an agency that is involved in providing early
intervention/special education services to and/or general care for the child. As an employee, the caseworker cannot be appointed as the surrogate parent for the child. Appointing a Surrogate under McKinney-Vento A state ward will have a surrogate appointed by the local agency having court assigned responsibility for the child's general care and welfare as required under Part C and Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This agency is the Department of Human Services for all children committed under Act 220, P.A. of 1935 and Act 296 P.A. of 1973. A surrogate parent may alternatively be appointed by the court.
For children that meet the definition of a homeless youth under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, the local education agency shall appoint a surrogate in accordance with the law. Reasonable efforts must be made to assign a surrogate not more than 30 days after there is a determination by the supervising agency that the child needs a surrogate parent. In selecting the surrogate parent the local DHS will accord preference to a person who knows and understands the child and family's cultural, religious, and linguistic background. Surrogate appointments will last until the surrogate resigns, the appointment is terminated by the local DHS or the child is no longer eligible for services under Part C or Part B of IDEA. Role of Education Planner Receives referrals from DHHS or private agencies in order to work directly with youth age 14 and older. Consults with child welfare workers for children and youth in foster care of all ages. DHS liaison to schools regarding foster youth of any age. Assists foster care workers and supervisors regarding
any education issues. Train child welfare staff in education law and policy. Works directly with regional M-V program to ensure rights of students under Fostering Connections. Fostering Connections Overlaps with McKinney Vento M-V/FC Connection Children awaiting foster care placement McKinney-Vento Fostering Connections Children in the same placement less than six months Children in foster Homeless Children care who are not who are not in
Homeless children who are also in foster McKinney-Vento foster care eligible care (e.g., youth who have run away from a foster placement) Children in foster care living in emergency or transitional shelters Working Together Working Together to Promote Education Stability. Child Welfare Child Welfare Supervisors Caseworkers Other Child Welfare advocates -Enrollment Protocols -Records transfer
Education -Best interest School District McKinneyVento Liaisons determinations Special Education Directors -Transportation Plans Other school administrators Uninterrupted Scholars Act Goal: To improve educational outcomes to students in foster care. Amendment of FERPA to permit educational agencies and institutions to disclose records.
No parental consent required. Allows local, state, and/or tribal child welfare workers to access records without consent when the protection of the student is their responsibility. Act also allows the education agencies and institutions to disclose a students educational records pursuant to a judicial order without requiring additional notice to the parent. Eligibility and Rights Who is eligible under Fostering Connections? Children in out-of-home care AND McKinney-Vento eligible. This includes children in emergency or transitional shelters; unaccompanied homeless youth; children or youth in a same foster placement less than six months; and those awaiting foster care. Right to Remain in
School of Origin Right to Expedited Record Transfer McKinney Vento and Fostering Connections Right to have Designated Staff Resource Right to Immediately Enroll Right to
Transportation Services Stronger Collaboration Communication Collaboration Child Welfare Best Interest Decision Making Ensuring Immediate Enrollment Sharing information Coordination of Services Sharing Transportation costs
Education Resources and Contact info Susie Greenfelder, NW Region DHHS Education Planner [email protected] 231-342-5310 517-204-3369 Abby Jordan, Grant Coordinator and District Liaison Traverse City Area Public Schools [email protected] 231-933-8991 Fostering Success Michigan Law Center for Foster Care and Education http://www.isbe.state.il.us/homeless/
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