There are around 400.000 children and young people in foster families in the USA at any moment, and that number increases by 20.000 every year.
The nation-wide research showed that there is a great risk of these children leaving school and it is less likely that they will go to or finish college. Therefore great and coordinated efforts of the state, educational institutions and agencies relevant for this group of children are being put in, in order to improve their education and their way towards growing up.
The U.S. Department of Education has in cooperation with the Department of Health specially supported the needs of these children and issued the new guidance supported by the web page and joint letter in order to educate authorities on the matter of increased needs in education of children and students in foster care. It is being estimated that this guidance as well as all other efforts will help improve education and development of children by making their school records accessible to relevant agencies and state institutions, making it possible for them to intervene very early, or to be more exact on time when it comes to their educational needs.
This guidance is part of our efforts to raise awareness of the needs of this vulnerable student population. When a child is removed from their family and placed in out-of-home care the disruption is extraordinary. Many have to change schools once or sometimes several times. Thanks to this guidance students in foster care will have educational continuity and stability, and making their school records accessible will help those in charge of their care to achieve this more easily – said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
The Obama administration believes that if the state manages to help this particularly sensitive group of youth, they will manage to improve quality of life for all students as well.