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Education Services for Youth in Care Presenter: Kelli Stocker, LMHC Guidance Counselor on Special Assignment Hillsborough County Public Schools: Florida. A Young Person who is “ Connected by 25” Is Educated, Housed, Banked, and Connected to “permanent” supportive adults [Family].

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Education Services for Youth in CarePresenter: Kelli Stocker, LMHCGuidance Counselor on Special AssignmentHillsborough County Public Schools: Florida

A Young Person who is

“Connected by 25”

Is Educated, Housed,

Banked, and Connected to “permanent” supportive adults [Family]

creation of guidance counselor
Creation of Guidance Counselor
  • In 2005, Cby25 collaborated with Hillsborough County Public Schools to establish and fund guidance position
  • Position funded by Lumina Foundation grant for two years

Cby25 Initiative


High School Guidance Counselor remains employee of Hillsborough County Public Schools

  • Hillsborough County Public Schools now funds position; local child welfare agency (Hillsborough Kids) and Eckerd Family Foundation fund Middle School Guidance Counselor

Cby25 Initiative

role of foster care guidance counselor
Role of Foster Care Guidance Counselor
  • Assist with enrollment and maintaining students at schools of origin
  • Support students when transitioning to new schools
  • Establish system to monitor and track student data
  • Meet individually with students at school for academic planning, support, and consultation

Cby25 Initiative

guidance role
Guidance Role
  • Liaison between school system, student, guardians, and child welfare system
  • Resource for school personnel in regards to child welfare system
  • Resource for child welfare personnel and guardians to assist in understanding and navigating the school system and academic requirements

Cby25 Initiative

guidance role1
Guidance Role
  • Provide training to various stakeholders in student’s life: educators, child welfare personnel, guardians, court personnel
  • Assist with post-secondary goals: planning, applications, and Financial Aid applications (FAFSA)

Cby25 Initiative

ferpa family educational rights and privacy act
FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
  • Hillsborough County Public Schools interprets FERPA to state that the foster parent is the student’s parent (guardian), not the local child welfare agency
  • Foster parents sign a Release of Records annually to allow Guidance Counselors to share specific written information with the child welfare agency, in accordance with FERPA

Cby25 Initiative

special needs and challenges
Special Needs and Challenges
  • Aging out of care at 18, still in high school
  • Transportation across a large county is not always available

Cby25 Initiative

successful system outcomes
Successful System Outcomes
  • Established Middle School Guidance Counselor Position
  • On-site, underage ABE/GED program for youth in care/aged out of care
  • School District DJJ Transition Department housed in same office
  • Principals Handbook (enrollment procedures and recommendations)
  • Student Registration Form

Cby25 Initiative

successful system outcomes1
Successful System Outcomes
  • School Social Workers trained as school liaisons
  • Transportation services
  • Eckerd Family Foundation Scholarship Fund: club fees, athletic fees, drivers ed fees, senior yearbooks, etc.
  • Collaboration with School District Information Systems for data compilation and access to current student progress (EdLine)

Cby25 Initiative

keys to success
Keys to Success
  • School District employee: knowledgeable of school system; welcomed and trusted by schools
  • Provided child welfare system email account and access to case manager information
  • Recognized and trusted by both systems

Cby25 Initiative


Thank You!

For more information:


Diane M.

Unified Family