at Advocates for Children
151 West 30th Street
New York, NY 10001
Due to changes to the homelessness and foster care provisions in the McKinney-Vento Act and Title I Part A, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, "Awaiting foster care placement" was deleted from the definition of "homeless children and youths" after December 10, 2016.
Children and youth who are "placed in foster care" are not McKinney-Vento eligible, but many continue enrollment and receive transportation to their school of origin under the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, another federal law. Click on the links below to learn more about foster care with regards to students in temporary housing.
Find answers to commonly asked questions about foster care and the McKinney-Vento Act.
This is a list of the foster care points of contact for each Local Educational Agency, which includes school districts, charter schools, and BOCES. These contacts can provide assistance with school stability for students in foster care.
This is a list of foster care points of contact for each Local Department of Social Services (LDSS), who can provide assistance for ensuring school stability for students in foster care.
New York State Kinship Navigator provides information, resources and referrals for grandparents and other relatives caring for children in New York.
Schools as Mandatory Partners in Ensuring Educational Stability: Q & A Factsheet from the Legal Center for Foster Care and Education
This factsheet describes the education provisions in the 2008 Fostering Connections Act, and summarizes a May 2014 Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report. It also highlights an important May 2014 joint letter from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Education about the Act.
This publication from the Casey Family Foundation highlights the most promising practices developed by teams from state, county, and tribally administered child welfare agencies where the focus was on improving educational continuity and school stability.
Laws and Guidance
NYSED Field Memo: Educational Stability and Transportation Provisions for Students in Foster Care in Title I, Part A as Amended in the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015
This December 2016 Field Memo was jointly issued by NYSED and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to provide important information about students in foster care. There are changes to Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of December 2015. The memo highlights changes that were required by December 10, 2016, including the requirements that: (1) Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) collaborate with Local Departments of Social Services (LDSS) to ensure school stability and transportation for children in foster care, and (2) LEAs must designate a Foster Care Point of Contact to work collaboratively with LDSSs in their communities.
This October 2015 Field Memo from the New York State Department of Education provides information about whether a student should be considered homeless under the McKinney-Vento Act in situations where a student has been removed from his/her home because of an allegation of abuse or neglect and the child welfare agency arranges for a relative or family friend to assume temporary custody of the student, rather than place the student in foster care.
This August 2015 NYSED Field Memo provides information about transportation to and from school for children placed in foster care.
This September 2013 Field Memo describes the 2013 amendments to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The Memo explains that FERPA allows school districts, BOCES, and charter schools to disclose educational records to child welfare officials, even without parental consent, for students in foster care and students in the care and custody of the NYS Office of Children and Family Services or a Local Department of Social Services (OCFS). OCFS issued a similar Information Letter to all Departments of Social Services about the changes to FERPA.
This Feb 2012 Administrative Directive explains that LDSS must take educational stability into account when placing children in foster care, and is responsible for educational stability plans, on a case-by-case basis, on behalf of each child in foster care.
This federal law made changes to the earlier social services law to improve outcomes for children in foster care. It includes provisions to increase educational stability (i.e. minimize the number of school transfers) for children in foster care. The educational stability provisions are discussed in Section 204.
Upcoming Workshops and Trainings
04/25/18 Trauma Sensitivity (NYS & NYC)
05/15/18 Transportation (NYC)
05/17/18 Transportation (NYS)