TEA News Releases Online October 18, 2013
Foster Care & Student Success Resource Guide available
AUSTIN - The Texas Education Agency (TEA) today announced the release of a new ground-breaking resource to help schools better meet the educational needs of children in foster care.
This new guide, Foster Care & Student Success: Texas Systems Working Together to Transform Education Outcomes of Students in Foster Care, is a comprehensive resource that gives educators relevant information, practical tips, and available resources to improve the educational experience of students in foster care.
TEA developed the guide in collaboration with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and the Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth, and Families (Children's Commission).
"Knowledgeable, caring adults play a significant role in guiding students to a successful educational experience while in the foster care system and beyond," said Commissioner of Education Michael Williams. "While this guide is primarily designed for education professionals, it can also be useful to caregivers, child welfare workers, child advocates, and others who work with students to help them achieve success in school and in life."
As noted by the Honorable Eva Guzman, Supreme Court Justice and Chair of the Children's Commission, "This guide, created by TEA, DFPS, and the Children's Commission, shows how far Texas has come in its collaborative efforts to improve the education outcomes of this vulnerable student population."
The guide aims to familiarize education professionals with the complexities of the foster care system, as well as relevant laws and policies that influence the educational experience for a student in foster care. It also centralizes foster care and education information, while increasing awareness and promoting improved cross-system practices and partnerships that can benefit students.
"Students in foster care often face challenges in school that their peers don't," said DFPS Commissioner John Specia. "Aside from being traumatized, their education may be disrupted by moving from school to school, and research shows they are less likely to graduate or go on to college than students who aren't in foster care. This guide gives educators information and tools to help them ensure the academic success of children in state care."
The guide represents nearly two years of collaborative effort by TEA, DFPS and the Children's Commission and grew out of a competitive federal grant. Texas was one of ten sites selected nationally to receive a federal Children's Bureau demonstration grant that funded and paved the way for the Texas Trio Project: Strengthening Court, Child Welfare, and Education Connections for Youth.
To download a PDF copy of the Texas Foster Care & Student Success Resource Guide, visit http://www.tea.state.tx.us/FosterCareStudentSuccess/resource-guide.pdf. A hard copy can also be ordered from the TEA Office of Publications.
Additional information about the guide, foster care, and other education information is available on the TEA Foster Care & Student Success website. You may also contact TEA's Foster Care Education & Policy Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.