Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

Disclaimer

 

 

Supporting Students in Out-of-Home Care

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) became effective December 2016. ESSA emphasizes school stability and positive outcomes for students in out-of-home care (OHC). Collaboration between schools and child welfare agencies is at the heart of the act. Resources to assist with supporting students while in care are below.

 

Supporting Educational Stablility

ESSA requires child welfare agencies and school staff to talk about children they have in common. Specific conversations about school stability must occur when:

  • a child enters out-of-home care; or
  • when a change in placement could result in the child attending a new school.
 

Best Interest

ESSA states that the child must stay in their current school unless it is not in their best interest. The child welfare agency and school(s) are responsible for making the best interest determination. The Best Interest Determination Guidance and Worksheets are tools agencies and schools may use when making these determinations.

 

Transportation

ESSA also requires schools and child welfare agencies to work together to transport students to and from school. The Transportation Procedures may assist with the creation of transportation plans or policies. The following materials may also be helpful:

 

Other Resources

Other resources that might be helpful include:

Points of Contact

ESSA required the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Public Instruction to name points of contact. Each Department has a point of contact, as do the schools and child welfare agencies.

The Department of Children and Families keeps a roster of all Education Points of Contact – people at county or tribal child welfare agencies who can be contacted about children who are placed in out-of-home care. Changes to county or tribal child welfare agency point of contact information should be emailed to DCFEDUPOC@wisconsin.gov.

The Department of Public Instruction keeps a roster of all Foster Care Points of Contact – people at the school who can be contacted about educational services for students in out-of-home care.

Points of Contact & Agency Roles and Responsibilities provides publications regarding best practice considerations and the responsibilities of the points of contact.

Frequently Asked Questions