School Success K-12

Five children of different genders, ages, and races standing with their arms around each other shoulders smiling at the camera

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.

Additional educational supports can be provided to foster youth from their local education agencies by reaching out to the following groups:

  • Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program (FYSCP) Coordinators is responsible for ensuring that Local Educational Agencies are providing supportive educational services to foster youth with the purpose of improving positive educational outcomes. The FYSCPs increase the stability of placements for foster children and youth by providing support including, but not limited to, assisting with the transfer of health and school records, emancipation training for independent living, and ensuring that all Foster Youth Educational Rights are being upheld. These services are designed to improve the children's educational performance and personal achievement. In addition to the FYSCP, every school district must appoint a designated staff person as the education liaison. 
  • The Foster Youth Educational Liaisons are placed at County Offices of Education and school districts to ensure and facilitate the proper educational placement, enrollment in school, and transfer between schools of foster children.

Caregiver Resources

  • 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. iFoster provides an online resource portal with hundreds of free or deeply discounted resources, transition age youth assistant and digital locker for transition age youth, and jobs for transition age youth.
  • AdvoKids hotline, website, and legal trainings equip child advocates with the legal and scientific principles that they need so that they can more effectively advocate for the well-being of the child and encourage persistent judicial focus on every foster child’s need for safety, emotional security, and developmental health. They provide legal tools and trainings.
  • One Simple Wish has an innovative wish-granting platform where you can send some love to a child who needs it. If a child in your care has a wish you can submit it to One Simple Wish by following the instructions on their website.
  • Echoes of Hope strives to awaken the spirit of hope in the lives of children, youth, and young adults in need by alleviating barriers and helping them reach their full potential. Kids For Hope program offers resources for disadvantaged children between the ages of 0-12 including backpacks, school uniforms, meal assistance, extracurricular, tutoring, and reading glasses. EOH Youth program offers resources for current and former foster youth, low-income, and at-risk youth, between the ages of 13-30. EOH resources include, food vouchers, transportation, uniforms, fees relating to school, backpack/toiletry drive, and extracurriculars.

Core Services – School Readiness and School Success

  • Kids Alliance works to protect the rights of children in poverty and those overcoming abuse and neglect by delivering free legal services, supportive programs, and systemic solutions. A step-by-step guide to meeting education challenges and improving outcomes for children and youth in foster care and on probation is now available for California schools.  
  •  High School Graduation forFoster Youth: AB 167/216 Foster youth who transfer high schools after their second year may graduate by completing minimum state graduation requirements if, at the time of transfer, they cannot reasonably complete additional local school district requirements within four years of high school. 
  • Independent Living Program (ILP) provides training, services, and benefits to assist current and former foster youth in achieving self-sufficiency prior to, and after leaving, the foster care system. Services include daily living skills, Money management, decision making, building self-esteem, financial assistance with college or vocational schools, educational Resources, housing (Transitional Housing), employment. For additional information on services contact your local county of residence.

School Safety

  • Safe Schools Coalition is a public-private partnership, in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender, queer and questioning youth, working to help schools become safe places where every family can belong, where every educator can teach, and where every child can learn, regardless of gender, gender identity or sexual orientation. Books, brochure, music, videos, news research, and more.
  • National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. Caregiver guides to student success and safety.

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 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the educational stability requirements for students in foster care, please visit the ESSA Update #6 letter (released on January 18, 2017). You can also check out the Education Travel Reimbursement Flyer. For additional information, please contact Amy Fowler from the California Department of Education by emailing

Developmental and Health Care Services

Regional Center Offices in California 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. Regional centers provide diagnosis and assessment of eligibility and help plan, access, coordinate and monitor the services and supports that are needed because of a developmental disability.

California Department of Education Resources

  • IEP Team Process and Requirements This document, developed by the California Department of Education, describes the process by which an IEP team is developed and the applicable laws and statutes.
  • 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. These FYSCPs have the ability and authority to ensure that health and school records are obtained to establish appropriate placements and coordinate instruction, counseling, tutoring, mentoring, vocational training, emancipation services, training for independent living, and other related services.
  • Safe Schools Provides training, resources and technical assistance to establish a school/community environment which is physically and emotionally safe, well disciplined, and conducive to learning.

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.