June 2009Vol. 10, No. 5Resources for the Fostering Connections Act
Since the passage of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act in October 2008, a number of organizations have developed resources to help States and agencies plan for implementing the act. Two new resources are described below.
Implementing the Educational Provisions
One of the Fostering Connections Act's major provisions is to promote the educational well-being of children and youth in foster care. The American Bar Association's (ABA's) Legal Center for Foster Care and Education has developed two checklists for State agencies and courts in preparing and implementing these provisions.
Checklist One lays out fundamental questions regarding the responsibilities of child welfare, education agencies, juvenile courts, and legislators in identifying and making needed changes in policies, practices, and laws to bring them in line with the act.
Checklist Two outlines the act's education requirements and special considerations for carrying out each obligation, including:
- Appropriateness of an educational placement and proximity to school
- Coordination between education and child welfare agencies
- Determining whether a child should remain in the same school or immediately enroll in a new school
- Transfer of education records
- Use of title IV-E dollars for transportation
- Assurances of enrollment and attendance
- Provisions for older youth
The report, Fostering Connections Act Implementation Reports: Implementation Checklists for Education Provisions, is available on the ABA website:
[Editor's note: This link is no longer available.]
How States Are Implementing Fostering Connections
The National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators (NAPCWA) provides a snapshot of how different States are implementing the Fostering Connections Act. Common elements of the State reports include:
- Descriptions of the State's at-risk children
- Budget landscape
- State options regarding the act, including the Guardianship Assistance Program
- Mandatory provisions of the act
- Family Connections grants
- Opportunities and challenges
New State reports are often added. Find The Fostering Connections Act Implementation Reports on the NAPCWA website: