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 Foster Care Education Provisions under Title I, Part A - School Closures

1.     Part of the safety requirements for DFCS is to have the previous school records when enrolling a child in custody in a new school. DFCS is aware that most schools are closed, and some are providing online classes for students. How can DFCS process new placements without paperwork from prior schools to determine the educational needs of the new placement? DFCS workers are stating they cannot get schools to answer phones or send the requested paperwork needed to complete enrollment.With regards to the Georgia Division of Family & Children Services (DFCS) school record retrieval process for children in care during these recent school closures, the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) recommends that DFCS implement the same or similar protocols and exceptions that take place during school calendar breaks (e.g. spring break, summer break, etc.) and other times of crisis. 
2.    Are there any resources offered by the Title I, Part A Foster Care Education (FCE) program that can be helpful for local educational agencies (LEAs) to consider during the COVID-19 crisis?

LEAs should note the following resources from the GaDOE Title I, Part A Foster Care Education program:

·      Non-Regulatory Guidance: Ensuring Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care,

·      Technical assistance opportunities (e.g. FY20 Regional Collaborative Foster Care Meeting, GCEL), and

·      Upcoming webinars to highlight foster care provisions.  More details to follow.

In addition, LEAs may want to take advantage of the Foster Care Transition Toolkit, provided by the U.S. Department of Education that could assist educators in protecting the educational rights of youth who are in foster care.

3.    Are there any uses of funds under the Title I, Part A Foster Care Education (FCE) program that can be helpful for local educational agencies (LEAs) to consider during the COVID-19 crisis?

There is no mandated funding associated with the FCE provisions under Title I, Part A. If an LEA chose to do a custom FCE set-aside, then the LEA could offer supplemental educational support activities, materials and services for children in care that are allowable under Title I, Part A. When considering support for families and students during the COVID-19 crisis, LEAs should consider the following allowable uses of funds described in an approved plan (e.g. application, CLIP, etc.) to be allocable:

·      Technology (e.g. Chromebooks)

·      Tutoring services moved to virtual platforms

·      Supports for health-related needs (e.g. medical, dental, eyeglasses, and hearing aids)

·      Supports for basic needs (e.g. school supplies)

 For LEAs who do not have an FCE set-aside, please check with other federal programs (e.g. Title IV, Part A, etc.) to see if allowable expenses can be used for students who are under the legal protections of the child welfare system.