Sadly, very few children who grow up in foster care attend college. Many foster children (one-half) experience learning challenges. Some resources for parents and students struggling with school issues are below.
Special education attorney and advocacy websites:
- Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates www.copaa.org
Foster Care and Education: The link between education and permanency:
Topics discussed include educational experiences and the impact on a child’s lifelong stability and permanence, special education topics, court focus on education and relationship to permanency, special education related factors that affect permanency, and more. Read the Q&A here for these topics and more provided by the Legal Center for Foster Care & Education.
Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008
This Act builds upon a prior law adding requirements to ensure educational stability of children in foster care. Read more about the Act here. Find more information about enacted and pending legislation by visiting the Fostering Connections Resource Center.
The California Department of Education has created a website just for foster parents describing available educational services.
Examples include the Chaffee Grant (money for foster children for college/technical schools/career training) and the Foster and Kinship Care Education Program (education programs for foster parents).
Effective July 2009, a new federal law entitles a child adopted from foster care after age 13 to apply for financial aid for college without their adoptive parents income being included in calculating their need for financial aid. (Legal reference: Section 604 (a)(2) of Public Law 110-84 amends the definition of an independent student in federal law at 20 U.S.C 1087 vv(d) to include any person who “is an orphan, in foster care, or a ward of the court, at any time when the individual is 13 years of age or older.”) This law will help more teens get adopted. Previously, some teens stayed in foster care because adoption would jeopardize their financial aid for college.