These tools are presented to help you understand the current state of the laws regarding foster and at-risk youth.  They will also help you to prepare requests for materials necessary to recieve benefits and services.

Contact Information for Education-Related Questions Regarding Foster and Probation Youth

This document identifies individuals you may contact if you have education-related questions about a foster or probation youth, or if you need to get transcripts for youth leaving any juvenile hall or camp.

Load PDF file here: 

Los Angeles 490 Foster Youth Enrollment Letter

The LA 490 Foster Youth Enrollment Letter is a helpful tool for caregivers trying to enroll their foster youth in the public school system. This letter outlines the applicable law and what rules school administrators need to follow when enrolling these youth. Select your district from the menu above.

High School Credit Recovery Guidelines

The High School Credit Recovery Guidelines is a helpful tool created to help parents, caregivers, social workers, advocates and other adults who work with foster youth uncover high school credits completed by the youth while they were attending other schools/school districts. Although the process for recovering credits will vary with each school district, these guidelines outline key steps that will help to facilitate this process and increase the likelihood of successfully recovering credits.

Download Guidelines in PDF format: DCFS HS Credit Recovery Guidelines

  The California Blue Ribbon Commission Final Report

This is the final report of the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care. The report is titled: Fostering a New Future for California's Children: Final Report and Action Plan, May 2009: Ensuring Every Child a Safe, Secure, and Permanent Home.

CA Ed. Law Fact Sheets  CA Education Law Fact Sheets 2010

These are the latest facts sheets developed by the CA Foster Youth Education Task Force. Here, you will find the latest legal information about: AB 490, Education Rights, Special Education, Nonpublic Schools (NPS), AB 3632, Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBA), Behavioral Intervention Plans (BIP), School Discipline, and Special Education Discipline.

County of Los Angeles Probation Department Education Reform Project

The report concerning the approval of comprehensive educational reform recommendations and a preliminary action plan for implementation at probation camps and juvenile halls.

Download PDF file here:

H.R. 6893 Fact Sheet

H.R. 6893, the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, was one of several recent bills signed by the President. This will open the door to federal support for youth to age 21 ending the trend in many states to push youth out of foster care at 18. Other provisions in the bill will enhance the ability to find, approve and support relative caregivers, increase efforts to preserve sibling ties, and mandate better attention to the educational and health needs of youth in care.

Download a summary of the key provisions in the bill in PDF format:

Judge Groman's Panel of Education Rights Holders

The most up-to-date Education Rights Holder List   (May 2012).

Keys to Creating Standards-based IEPS

The Special EDge is a newsletter published three times a year and funded by the California Department of Education, Special Education Division. The Special EDge is designed to inform and support parents, educators, and other service providers on special education topics, focusing on research-based practices, legislation, technical support, and current resources. This issue contains useful information related to Individualized Education Plans (IEPS).

Download this issue in PDF format:  

Los Angeles County Office of Education Division of Student Programs
Title I Transition Counselors 2012-2013

A list of counselors who assist students leaving juvenile probation camps and juvenile hall. Counselors focus on program services, individual and group counseling services, transition counseling, case management, contact with parents, contact with Deputy Probation Officers, linkage to school and community resources (i.e. mental health, counseling, tutoring, grade counselors, drug/alcohol programs, job placement, parenting, etc.), and GED Testing.

Download the current list in PDF format:  LACo Office of Ed Logo

Los Angeles County Re-entry District Contacts

A list of contacts in each school district designated to assist students re-entering from camp or juvenile hall.

Download the current list in PDF format: pointer

Minute Order Language Addition for Youth under the Jurisdiction of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)

Los Angeles County is now adding language to dependency court minute orders that will allow school districts to share educational information with the Department of Children and Family Services, in a manner that is compliant with FERPA. Bench officers will insert this language into minute orders at disposition and subsequent hearings, which will then be shared with school districts (redacted to conceal sibling information and any other confidential information, if necessary), and they will follow FERPA protocol (like giving reasonable notice to parents/holders of educational rights, etc.) in order to share the information with social workers. Social workers will incorporate this information into their court reports in order to share it with the Juvenile Court and all counsel of record.

Download the new language in PDF format:

Money Matters: A Guide to Teaching Finances to Children by Daniel Schuler

In today's complex financial world, it has never been more important to teach children about responsible money management. According to a recent survey, over 30% of young adults report that they had not learned to live within a budget, the importance of saving or how to use credit cards wisely, before they entered the workforce. It is imperative that parents and teachers instruct young people on the dos and don'ts of personal finances. This guide, produced by Business Credit Cards is designed to help educate younger generations towards a smarter, more financially informed future.

Link to this article online: Bootstrapper link to YA Financial Guide

Download a transcript in pdf format: pointer

Stuart Foundation: Teacher Voices

Some of the nation's leading scholars and philanthropic organizations selected a dozen foster care experts to discuss what we know — and don't know — about improving educational outcomes for children and youth in foster care. These experts represent a wide range of experience and perspective including that of an urban county school superintendent, a juvenile court judge, an attorney, a pediatric mental health clinician, a social service director, and several university-based researchers.

Ready to Succeed is a bold plan to close the educational achievement gap for children and youth in foster care. Based upon the best research available, it designs and tests interventions at demonstration sites, assists policymakers and practitioners to carry out promising policies and practices, and addresses data collection and sharing challenges. Likewise, it is a call for more and better research to strengthen the evidence for what works.

Grappling with the Gaps is a starting place. It sets the groundwork to suggest new research priorities for improving policies and practices related to the educational outcomes of children and youth in foster care. Its sole source of information is interviews conducted during the winter of 2009 with 12 foster care experts who differ in familiarity with education, child welfare, and related policy and practice issues. Collectively they describe "research lags," "holes," "gaps in knowledge," "a paucity of research on educational outcomes," and "lack of evidence-based practices" contributing to the generally dismal educational outcomes Ready to Succeed aims to turn around.

Download Ready to Succeed in PDF format: 

Download Grappling with the Gaps in PDF format: 

Ward of the Court Status Verification for those Applying for College

Proof of Foster Care Status Proof of Foster Care Status

A list of the two types of verification of your foster care status that college student financial aid offices will accept, with explanations.

Filling out the FAFSA application Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

If you are living with a legal guardian and want to know whether or not you can be considered a "ward of the court" on the FAFSA application, read these guidelines.

Sample Ward of the Court Verification Letter Sample Ward of the Court Verification Letter

If you need verification of your "ward of the court" status for the purposes of applying for financial aid for college, give this sample letter to your social worker. This is the only information that the school's financial aid office is required to have.