Services » Foster Youth Services

Foster Youth Services

What is Calaveras Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program?  

Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program is 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, support their personal achievement, and improve educational outcomes.

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


Education Rights for Foster and Homeless 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, see the link on the left for more information.

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 Coordinating Program Manager
Kristina Smith
(209) 736-6091
Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program Specialist
Melissa Harvey
(209) 736-6059

Calaveras County Office of Education
Director, Student Support Services
Kathryn Eustis 
(209) 736-4662

Calaveras Unified School District
Child Welfare & Attendance
Renee Malamed
(209) 754-2124

Vallecito Unified School District
Jim Frost
(209) 795-8000

Bret Harte Union High School District
Michael Chimente
(209) 736-8340

Mark Twain Union Elementary School District
Julia Tidball
(209) 736-1855

State Foster Youth Coordinator
Lisa Guillen, Education Programs Consultant
(916) 327-5930
County Homeless Liason
Calaveras County Office of Education
Karen Vail
Assistant Superintendent Instructional Support
State Homeless Coordinator
Leanne Wheeler 
(916) 319-0383