COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
December 10, 2010
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction
This memorandum provides information about federal legislation, the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-351); 42 USC 675 (1) (G.)) that relates to the enrollment of foster care children and requests that school divisions designate a point of contact to facilitate smooth implementation. The Fostering Connections Act, designated now as the Social Security Act, Title IV, § 475 (1) (G) [42 USC 675], requires state child welfare agencies and local education agencies to coordinate efforts to improve educational stability and outcomes for every child in foster care in four primary areas: (1) school enrollment; (2) school stability; (3) school transportation; and (4) development of a transition plan.
Attached is the joint guidance document developed by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) that explains the process to ensure immediate enrollment and school stability for children in foster care. (For additional information regarding state legislation, please refer to SUPTS. MEMO NO. 125, dated June 24, 2005.)
VDOE and VDSS will be hosting informational webinars to facilitate the implementation of the procedures related to this act. The date and time of these webinars will be provided to your division contact. To ensure that the correct school division staff receives this information, it is recommended that each school division designate a point of contact for students in foster care. Please send the name, position, and contact information for your designated point of contact by December 17, 2010, to Vivian Stith-Williams at Vivian.Stith-Williams@doe.virginia.gov.
Questions regarding this guidance may be directed to Dr. Stith-Williams, student services specialist, by telephone at (804) 225-4543, fax (804) 371-8796.