School Success K-12

Tools and resources to support achievement of good grades, earn a degree/diploma while thoroughly learning the materials that can increase the ability to pursue higher education or find a job.

Caregiver Resources

  • iFoster
    iFoster is a national non-profit organization with over 40,000 members across all 50 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico. iFoster’s mission is to ensure that every child growing up outside of their biological home has the resources and opportunities they need to become successful, independent adults.
  • Treehouse
    Treehouse is a group of social workers that are committed to providing youth in foster care with the academic and other essential support they need to graduate from high school at the same rate as their peers with a plan for their future.

Core Services – School Readiness and School Success

  • Short Term Residential Treatment Programs (STRTPs)
    All foster family agencies provide core services to foster youth in care, such as education, physical, behavioral, mental health, extracurricular supports, and transition to adulthood services. All of the services are culturally relevant and trauma-informed.    

Transportation and School Stability  

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), contains key protections to promote the educational stability and success of students in foster care. These protections help ensure that students experience minimal disruptions in their education, avoid gaps in school attendance, and receive the opportunities and support that they need to succeed.

The Frequently Asked Questions on the California Department of Education Foster Youth Education Rights web page  may be helpful in answering questions regarding transportation to school of origin for students in foster care. For more information regarding ESSA and the educational stability requirements for students in foster care, please visit the ESSA Update #6 letter (released on January 18, 2017). For additional information, please contact Paula Evans from the California Department of Education by emailing

Developmental and Health Care Services

Regional Center Offices in California
Regional centers are nonprofit private corporations that contract with the Department of Developmental Services to provide or coordinate services and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities. They have offices throughout California to provide a local resource to help find and access the many services available to individuals and their families.

California Department of Education Resources

  • Foster Youth Services
    Foster Youth Services Coordinating Programs provide support services to foster children who suffer the traumatic effects of displacement from family and schools.

CDSS Letters and Information Notices

All County Letters (ACLs)

  • ACL No. 16-84 Child and Family Team
    This ACL provides information and guidance regarding the use of child and family teaming to deliver child welfare services (including education services), as required by Assembly Bill 403, commonly known as the Continuum of Care Reform.

All County Information Notices (ACINs)  

  • ACIN I-80-04 Documentation of the Educational Needs of Children Receiving In-Home Services and Children in Foster Care
    The purpose of this ACIN is three fold. First, it is to emphasize the importance for social workers, probation officers, or other responsible personnel to document in the case file or Child Welfare Services/Case Management System when the educational needs of children and youth receiving in home services are assessed, and to document how the identified needs were addressed. Second, this notice also briefly outlines the requirements of Assembly Bill 490, Chapter 862, Statutes of 2003, which imposes new duties and rights related to the education of dependents and wards in foster care. Finally, this notice also informs counties of a new Educational Advocacy Curriculum that has been developed by the Northern Regional Training Academy.
  • ACIN No. I-15-19: Available Education-Related Resources
    The purpose of this ACIN is to provide information about the production of several education-related resources for youth in foster care as well as the various professionals and adults who serve them. These resources include the following: a new CDSS foster youth education webpage, education resource cards, a protocol document, education-related topic contacts, and the Education Travel Reimbursement Informational Brochure for Caregivers.
Additional CDSS Resources

State and Federal Laws Pertaining to Foster Youth and Education  

  • Every Student Succeeds Act (Public Law 114-95) (2015)
    This law reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Of 1965 and replaces No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.  The purpose of the law is to provide all children significant opportunities to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education and to close educational achievement gaps.