Stephanie Johnson, Director
Karissa Kelly, Foster Youth Counselor / Program Liaison
The Foster Youth Services Program helps to improve children's educational performance and personal achievement. It offers services that meet a wide range of needs specific to foster youth, including referrals for counseling, tutoring, mentoring, any special education services and services under Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, health services, after-school services, post-secondary education, and transition.
"Foster youth" means a child who has been removed from his/her home pursuant to WIC 309, is the subject of a petition filed under WIC 300 or 602 (jurisdiction of juvenile court) or has been removed from his/her home and is the subject of a petition filed under WIC 300 or 602. "Person holding the right to make educational decisions" means a responsible adult appointed by a court pursuant to WIC 361 or 727. "School of origin" means the school that the student attended when permanently housed or the school in which he/she was last enrolled. (EC 48853.5, AR 6173.1)
Assembly Bill 490 (2003) created new rights and duties related to the education of dependents and wards in foster care. Foster youth are guaranteed immediate enrollment in school. A student who is a foster youth who remains in his or her school of origin is deemed to have met the residency requirements for school attendance in the District. The student is not required to complete a request for transfer. All educational and school placement decisions shall be made to ensure the student is placed in the least restrictive educational program and has access to academic resources, services, and extracurricular and enrichment activities that are available to all students. In all instances, educational and school placement decisions shall be based on the best interests of the child. (EC 48853(h)) The District shall compile the complete educational record of the student including a determination of seat time, full or partial credits earned, current classes and grades, immunization, and other records, and, if applicable, a copy of the student's 504 plan or Individualized Education Plan (IEP). (EC 49069.5(e))
If the foster youth, or a person with the right to make educational decisions for the foster youth, disagrees with the liaison's enrollment recommendation, he/she may appeal to the Superintendent. The Superintendent shall make a determination within 30 calendar days of receipt of the appeal. Within 30 calendar days of receipt of the Superintendent's decision, the complainant may appeal the decision to the Board, who will hear the matter at the next Board meeting. The Board's decision shall be final. (AR 6173.1) If any dispute arises regarding the request of a foster youth to remain in the school of origin, the youth has the right to remain in the school of origin pending resolution of the dispute. (EC 48853.5)
The Foster Youth Services Program is administered under the direction of the Director of Student Support Services.