fostering partnerships between education community based care and state agencies
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Fostering Partnerships between Education, Community-Based Care and State Agencies. Age of Innocence. The challenges of educating the foster child.

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the challenges of educating the foster child
The challenges of educating the foster child
  • Foster children often are required to move frequently from home to home, transfer schools more regularly and face both attendance and school performance issues.
  • Poor grades/failure to perform at grade level
  • Difficulty adjusting to new schools/teachers
areas affecting children placed in foster care include
Areas affecting children placed in foster care include:
  • Behavioral acting out/class disruptions
  • Involvement in at risk behaviors (drinking, smoking, drug experimentation)
  • Trouble concentrating in school
  • Sleeping in class, excessive tiredness
  • Psychosomatic concerns (headaches, chronic colds)
  • Children in foster care are also more likely to be assigned to special education classes.
relationships between schools child welfare agencies
Relationships between schools & Child Welfare Agencies.
  • Most don’t understand the roles that each plays in the child’s life.
  • There is some degree of difficulty gaining access to information on both sides.
  • Time is also a factor
why is it important to bridge the gap
Why is it important to “bridge the gap”?
  • Research indicates that the future success of a child who is/has been in foster care is correlated to education.
  • Children who have been removed from home experience a great deal of transition and oftentimes, school is the only stability they have.
  • Coordinating between schools and child welfare agencies can reduce delays in school enrollment and disruption of daily attendance.
bridging the gap
Bridging the Gap
  • To reduce the confusion and conflict experienced by not only the student but the schools and the agencies involved with the child, it is imperative that all parties involved place emphasis on regular and on-going communication. Examples
establishment of a working agreement
Establishment of a working agreement.
  • In 2005, The Florida Department of Children and Families and The Florida State Department of Education determined that all districts shall entered into an interagency agreement with the Community Based Care Providers in their local area to provide for better communication between the agencies.
key points of the agreement
Key points of the agreement:
  • Agency collaboration
  • Interagency Liaisons
  • Sharing of Information
  • Staff Development
  • Educational Stabilization
  • Surrogate Parents for ESE (Exceptional Student Education) students
school social workers in the role of foster care liaison in pinellas county
School Social Workers in the role of Foster Care Liaison in Pinellas County
  • In Pinellas County, Florida, this individual is an employee of the Pinellas County Schools and is a Masters level School Social Worker that works cooperatively with the agencies that investigate child abuse (the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Child Protective Investigations Division) and provide protective and foster care services (Eckerd Community Alternatives).
  • To increase opportunities for communication and interaction, the Foster Care Liaison/School Social Worker is housed on-site with both child welfare agencies.

As a facilitator, the liaison creates a medium for communication through daily contacts with school social workers, guidance counselors, case managers, and other agency staff.

  • These contacts may involve:

providing guidance and/or assistance in the school registration process,

arranging transportation for students,

attending agency staffings to gain access to information concerning the child’s foster care placement and/or services,

fostering relationships with school departments (School Choice, transportation department, School nurses, School Administrators and others)

As a mediator, the liaison intervenes to provide an immediate response to situations where schools and agencies are in conflict.
  • Intervention may involve:

Providing assistance to school and/or agency staff who have difficulty gaining access to information and/or students,

Educating staff when there is a lack of understanding/awareness with regard to policies and/or procedures governing the child welfare agencies, that affect the provision of services to students.

other collaborative efforts
Other Collaborative Efforts
  • Providing trainings and education to potential foster parents (MAPP-Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting)
  • Assisting in the development and execution of transportation procedures for students in shelter placements (“bouncing kids”)
  • Coordinating educational planning efforts for IL (Independent Living) students.
  • Attend/participate in community provider meetings