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Legislation and Guidance
In 2008, Colorado House Bill 1019 mandated that each school district and state Charter School Institute designate an employee or contractor to serve as a Child Welfare Education Liaison. The child welfare education liaisons collaborate with child placement agencies, county departments, the state department, and schools to ensure proper school placement, transfer and enrollment of foster children. The liaisons work with all parties to ensure a foster child remains in an educational situation that promotes stability. The law also requires schools to transfer education records within five school days and that the receiving school admits these children within five days of receipt of a student’s records.
Child Welfare Education Liaison (CWEL) Guidance
- Frequently Asked Questions About Foster Care Education: This document was created in response to commonly asked questions around educational issues for youth in foster care. *You can watch a webinar summarizing this tool
- Foster Care Education Data: This document provides information on Graduation and Dropout Rates for Colorado Students in Foster Care.*For more information on the data, see the annual legislative report on dropout prevention and student engagement.
- Kinship Fact Sheet: This fact sheet provides definitions and what districts need to know about Colorado Kinship, Kinship Family Foster Care, and Non-relative Foster Care. *You can watch a webinar summarizing this information
- Legislation at a Glance: Foster Care Education: Legislation at a Glance is a tool designed to outline and simplify legislation around Foster Care Education in an easy to read format. *You can watch a webinar summarizing this information
- Higher Education Information for Foster Care: College students coming from foster care require more attention than most other first generation students because of their background and their early independent status. *You can watch a webinar summarizing this information
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Guidance
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Among many new provisions to support vulnerable students, the law now requires states to ensure certain protections for students in foster care-addressing the role of state and local education agencies to support school stability and collaborate with child welfare agencies.
- ESSA Implementation Toolkit (PDF) Newly Released!
- US Department of Education on ESSA Foster Care Education Provisions (PDF) (December 2016)
- How will ESSA support students in foster care? Read the American Bar Association’s Q and A.
- The Department of Education in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has created a Q and A around 40 frequently asked questions around ESSA and Foster Care.
- Watch a webinar hosted by Colorado Department of Education and Colorado Department of Human Services concerning ESSA.
Legislative Overview of Foster Care Education in Colorado
Fostering Connections Act
In 2008, the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-351, Fostering Connections Act) was signed into law. This law amends parts B and E of Title IV of the Social Security Act that county departments of human services used to provide services to children and youth in foster care.
In 2008, 22-32-138 was created. Children who are in out-of-home placements, including but not limited to foster care placements, deserve access to the same opportunities that are enjoyed by other students.
Every Student Success Act (ESSA)
In 2015, ESSA is the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Among many new provisions to support vulnerable students, the law now requires states to ensure certain protections for students in foster care-addressing the role of state and local education agencies to support school stability and collaborate with child welfare agencies.