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"Education is the key that unlocks doors, and in the world of foster care, we are determined to
provide every child with the keys to their dreams."

“Foster Care” means substitute care for children placed by the Department of Human Services
or a tribal child welfare agency away from their parents and for whom the department or agency
has placement and care responsibility, including placements in foster family homes, foster
homes of relatives, group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities, child care
institutions, and pre-adoptive homes.

Children and youth in foster care represent one of the most vulnerable student subgroups in this
country. Of the approximately 415,000 children in foster care in 2014, nearly 270,000 were in
elementary and secondary schools. Studies find children in foster care are much more likely
than their peers to struggle academically and fall behind in school. Students in foster care at
age 17 are also less likely to graduate from high school, with only 65 percent graduating by age
21 compared to 86 percent among all youth ages 18 to 24.

Educational stability is a key component in a foster care student's success. Consistent access to
quality education provides stability and a sense of normalcy in their lives. When foster care
students have access to supportive school environments, committed educators, and resources
that address their unique needs, it can significantly improve their educational outcomes.
Continuity in schooling, through efforts such as maintaining school enrollment despite
placement changes, promoting educational stability, and minimizing disruptions, can enhance
their chances of academic success. At the federal and state level, laws have been passed that
require local and state child welfare and education agencies to fully and faithfully understand
and implement legislation focusing on continuity and stability in a foster care student’s

-ESSA: Ensuring Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care, ODHS and ODE, September

Director of Special Education
Autymn Galbraith

District Federal Programs Secretary
Heidi Totten

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