The Fostering Success in Education Act
On average, foster children move to new foster homes one to two times per year, and often change schools when they move. Because foster children typically change school multiple times, it is difficult for them to make significant educational progress. Moreover, when foster children change schools, they often experience enrollment delays and difficulties transferring course credits from prior schools. Consequently, many foster children fall behind their peers in school and ultimately drop out. In 2008, Congress enacted the Fostering Connections to Success Act, a child welfare law that, among other things, aims to improve the school stability of foster children. The Act directs child welfare agencies to collaborate with local education agencies to ensure that foster children either remain in their current schools after they move to new school districts, when it is in their best interest to do so. If not, the agencies are to ensure that the children are enrolled immediately in their new schools. In this brief, the author briefly describes the Act and outlines its requirements for child welfare and state and local education agencies.