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Foster Care Education

Foster Care Education Resources for COVID-19 Response

The State of Colorado and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are the lead entities and the role of CDE is to inform the conversation. In that role, the Commissioner of Education has been sending out communication to Superintendents.

COVID-19 FAQ for Supporting Students in Foster Care

Foster Care Program Overview

The Foster Care Education program at the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) supports students in foster care in maintaining school stability. Students in foster care have the right to remain in their school of origin when they are initially placed in foster care or move foster care placements. Additionally, students in foster care have the right to immediate enrollment if moving schools is determined to be in their best interest as well as free meals and school fee waivers. CDE ensures that each school district in Colorado has a designated Child Welfare Education Liaison (CWEL). This person serves as the single point of contact to help facilitate school stability and seamless transfers for students in foster care. The CWEL also coordinates with county child welfare agencies in providing, arranging, and funding transportation to the school of origin or facilitating school transfers.

Every Transition Counts for Students in Foster Care -

3-minute video on the importance of educational stability, Colorado partnerships, and previously released research on educational outcomes for students in foster care.  The video was developed with support from the U.S. Dept. of Education.

Legislation and Guidance

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Resources and Links

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Past and Recorded Presentations/Webinars

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Communications and Highlights


The Helen M. McLoraine Scholarship for Foster Care & Emancipating Youth was created to provide educational scholarships for foster care youth who are emancipated or are in the process of preparing to emancipate from the foster care system in Colorado. Scholarship awards can be up to $10,000 per year for a total of four years. Online application and an overview of the eligibility requirements (for first-time applicants).

Eligibility and Application: Online application and an overview of the eligibility requirements. This program is open to students who have spent a minimum of 24 months in Colorado’s foster care system between the ages of 13 and 18.

Reapplication – Students who have RECEIVED funding from this scholarship program in previous years may fill out the reapplication (it has fewer questions). Be sure to start the application that says “reapplication” in the title.

Forward Steps Scholarship: The Forward Steps Scholarship is currently accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year! Priority deadline is May 31st, 2020 (rolling applications accepted and considered on a case-by-case basis).

Forward Steps supports Colorado’s current and former foster youth as they pursue a post-secondary education through financial, social and life-skills support. Forward Steps scholars receive:

  • One-on-one mentoring
  • Academic and career coaching
  • Opportunities for personal and professional development
  • Access to tutoring, and
  • Community support

Full-time scholars can receive up to $6,000 per school year (part-time applicants accepted on a limited basis). Any interested applicants must be currently enrolled, or will be enrolled, in an associate, bachelor, trade or certificate program from a public educational institution listed on our application, be less than 26 years of age, and demonstrate unmet financial need.

Help with completing the FAFSA

Needed for FAFSA:

Confirmation of Foster Care Dependency Court Form


Resources For Highly Mobile Students (Foster, Homeless, Migrant)

Resources For Highly Mobile Students (Word)

Contact Information

Foster Care Education contact:

Jamie Burciaga
Cell: 303-518-5938

Mailing Address

Colorado Department of Education
201 E Colfax
Denver, CO 80203