Foster Youth Service
What is Calaveras Foster Youth Services?
We are a program funded by the California Department of Education to provide services to foster children and youth ages 4-21 who are living in group homes and foster family homes in Calaveras County.
A quality education is key to every child’s development, and it is especially important for children in foster care. Foster children as a group tend to function at a lower academic level than the general school-age population, are less likely to graduate from high school, exhibit more behavior problems, and have lower self-esteem. Advocacy and support services are essential so they can face these challenges successfully.
Our purpose is to increase school stability for foster children, and to improve their educational performance and personal achievement.
What Does FYS Do?
- Advocate for timely and appropriate school placements
- Assist students and foster care providers to access needed academic support services, including special education
- Recommend and make referrals to needed community support services
- Assist foster care providers to understand and navigate the school system
- Work with placing agencies to minimize changes in school placement
- Facilitate the transfer of school records for foster children
- Act as a liaison between care providers, schools and placing agencies
History of Foster Youth Services
In 1981 the California State Legislature recognized that a high percentage of foster children were working substantially below grade level, were being retained at least one year at the same grade level, and were becoming school dropouts. In response, the Legislature mandated the creation of six Foster Youth Services Core District Programs. The continued success of these programs led in 1999 to the creation of the FYS Countywide Programs. Calaveras Foster Youth Services was funded in 2000. Currently fifty-seven California counties operate FYS programs.
Education Rights for Foster Children
In 2003 the State Legislature enacted AB490 “…to ensure that all pupils in foster care…have a meaningful opportunity to meet the challenging state pupil academic achievement standards to which all pupils are held.” This legislation established new duties and rights related to the education of dependents and wards in foster care, including:
- Education placements must be determined by the child’s best interest
- Foster children must be enrolled in a new school immediately, even without normally required documents
- Student’s records must be transferred in a timely manner
- Partial credit must be awarded for coursework completed even if a child moves before the end of the semester
- Every school district must appoint a Foster Youth Liaison to ensure the education rights of foster children are upheld and their academic needs are met.
The Federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act was reauthorized in 2002 to include foster youth who are in temporary placement. It also requires a liaison in each school district for homeless students, and provides for similar education rights.
Foster Youth & Homeless Liaisons
Calaveras County Foster Youth Services Liaison
Calaveras County Office of Education
Calaveras Unified School District
Special Education Director
Vallecito Unified School District
Bret Harte Union High School District
Mark Twain Union Elementary School District
State Foster Youth Coordinator
State Homeless Coordinator