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Division of Family and Children Services: EPAC and ILP Support Programs for Youth in Foster Care. Presenter : Kyle Berry, EPAC Program Manager & Gary Frazier, ILS Presentation to : College Connections for Student Success Conference Date : February 18-19, 2014.

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Division of Family and Children Services: EPAC and ILP Support Programs for Youth in Foster Care


Kyle Berry, EPAC Program Manager & Gary Frazier, ILS

Presentation to:

College Connections for Student Success Conference

Date: February 18-19, 2014

Georgia Department of Human Services

vision mission and core values
Vision, Mission, and Core Values


Stronger Families for a Stronger Georgia.


Strengthen Georgia by providing Individuals and Families access to services that promote self-sufficiency, independence, and protect Georgia's vulnerable children and adults.

Core Values

  • Provide access to resources that offer support and empower Georgians and their families.
  • Deliver services professionally and treat all clients with dignity and respect.
  • Manage business operations effectively and efficiently by aligning resources across the agency.
  • Promote accountability, transparency and quality in all services we deliver and programs we administer.
  • Develop our employees at all levels of the agency.


the need for education services
The Need for Education Services

IEP or 504




In Care

Suspended or Expelled

Multiple School Transfers

Failing Standardized Tests

5,013 School-Aged Foster Youth (K-12)

Reading below Grade Level


At the end of Federal Fiscal Year 2013, 87% (4,362) of GA foster youth had been referred to and served by EPAC.

educational programming assessment and consultation1
Educational Programming, Assessment, and Consultation


The EPAC Unit provides comprehensive academic support services focusing on improving educational outcomes and the academic achievement of children and youth, ages 5 to 17 in the custody of Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. EPAC services are supported through TANF funding and are initiated through case manager or CPS referrals. Upon initial placement into foster care, children and youth are referred to EPAC for a comprehensive diagnostic educational assessment and subsequently, are monitored for ensuring adequate academic progress.

educational programming assessment and consultation2
Educational Programming, Assessment, and Consultation

Overview (continued)

EPAC currently has 14 Education Support Monitors (ESMs) who manage educational services for all school aged youth in care. ESMs are assigned regionally to provide individualized case consultation and to assist case managers in linking children and youth to local education support services, while adhering to local school district policies and procedures. Additionally, EPAC is responsible for procuring educational services from either within the community, local education agencies or EPAC program assigned.

During this current fiscal year, EPAC has contracted with over 230 certified Georgia Teachers who provide specific, one-on-one academic support.

statewide longitudinal data system
Statewide Longitudinal Data System

What is the primary purpose of the Georgia SHINES and SLDS connection?

  • To expediently attend to educational needs
  • To improve educational stability
  • To help prepare a brighter future for our children

What are the benefits?

  • Access to historical education information
  • Indicator for SWD (student with disability)
  • Academic performance trends — student specific
  • Historical attendance data
  • Access to standardized test scores
  • Access to the unofficial transcript
  • Assist with case planning
educational programming assessment and consultation4
Educational Programming, Assessment, and Consultation

DHS Policy 10.13 – Education Stability

  • This policy was disseminated to the field on August 1, 2013
  • It provides practice guidance to direct service workers and all other field staff about Education Stability for children and youth in foster care
  • This policy specifically covers how EPAC, through its Education Support Monitors, engage case managers and provide educational consultation in the following areas:
    • Collaborations with Local Educational Agencies (LEAs)
    • Determination of Appropriateness of Educational Settings
    • DFCS contact for District Level Homeless Liaisons
    • Assist in development of RTI, IEP, and/or 504 Plans
    • Homeless and Unaccompanied Youth Referrals
    • Educational Stability Transportation Funding Request Protocol
homeless and unaccompanied youth
Homeless and Unaccompanied Youth

When a child has been identified as a Homeless and/or Unaccompanied Youth, the following procedure will be followed by the Division of Family and Children Services In-take Officer(s).

  • When an identified homeless or unaccompanied youth has been identified to CPS/In-Take, a referral form (176) will be completed and submitted to Educational Programming, Assessment and Consultation Unit (EPAC).
  • Referral form will be processed by EPAC (Operations Analyst) who will record the provided information in the Homeless & Unaccompanied Youth (HUY) Data System.
  • Based upon the Local Educational Agency identified on the referral, EPAC will contact the appropriate Homeless Liaison who should then direct services for the youth under the guidelines of McKinney-Vento.
  • EPAC/DFCS will periodically check-in with the Homeless Liaison to ensure services were provided to youth.
transportation protocol to support educational stability
Transportation Protocol to Support Educational Stability

Educational Stability transportation funds should be used to support the practice of ensuring foster children and youth remain in their home school/school of origin as part of Educational Stability

transportation considerations
Transportation Considerations

Transportation Options

Determining Factors

Age of child/youth

Location of placement and distance from school of origin

Child/youth’s physical and cognitive abilities

Child/youth’s developmental abilities

  • Foster Parent
  • Public transportation/Mass Transit
  • Van pools
  • Taxis
  • Private transportation services
For more information, please you may reach me (Kyle D. Berry) at:



by email at

independent living program overview
Independent Living Program Overview

The State of Georgia recognized that without appropriate services, planning and support, our youth would not have a successful transition foster care. Our youth showed higher rates of homelessness, unemployment, poverty, delinquent or criminal behaviors and dependence on various types of public assistance.

In response, the State of Georgia implemented the standards and support of the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) which provided states with greater funding to prepare foster youth for the transition to adulthood.

ilp mission
ILP Mission

Is to provide eligible youth with opportunities to successfully prepare for adulthood, by providing appropriate resources and connections with community partners.

ilp outcome measures
ILP Outcome Measures

Our program comprise of six outcome measures targeting:

  • education attainment;
  • financial self-sufficiency;
  • avoidance of homelessness;
  • positive connections with adults;
  • avoidance of high-risk behaviors; and
  • accessing health insurance.

These outcomes assess our performance in the delivery of services and support to ensure successful transitions.

services and programs
Services and Programs
  • To achieve successful outcomes, we provide an assortment of services such as educational workshops/conferences, independent living skills needs assessment, post secondary supports, academic supports, financial assistance, employment programs/training, Individual Development Accounts Matching Program and monitoring of the Written Transition Living Plan.

Eligible Youth for SFY13

A total of 2588 youth were eligible to receive ILP services. Out of the 2588, 2385 youth or young adults in and out of foster care received ILP services/support.

ilp funded supports services
ILP Funded Supports/ Services

Some ways youth can be supported using ILP funds. This is not an extensive list. Specific monetary limits are based upon availability of funds and the specific needs of the youth.

youth educational achievement
Youth Educational Achievement

This past school year, the GA Division of Family and Children Services had 35

college youth graduate as well as 264 General Education Development (GED) and high school youth.