Priority Notice: Maine DOE and DHHS release joint guidance regarding foster care provisions

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) and the Office for Children and Family Services (OCFS) has collaborated to release initial joint information regarding provisions under the Every Student Succeeds Act for children in foster care. To ensure compliance with Federal Statute, the DOE has designated ESEA Director – Title I, Janette Kirk, to oversee the implementation of the provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and serve as a point of contact for OCFS.  To view the official notice, click here.

The goal of ESSA is for children in foster care to experience minimal disruption in their education as a result of being placed in foster care and that they are given the same opportunities to develop the necessary skills to be successful as children who are not in foster care.

Under ESSA the Maine DOE and OCFS must work together to ensure:

  • A child in foster care will enroll or remain enrolled in the child’s school of origin, unless a determination is made that it is not in the child’s best interest to attend that school.
  • If a determination is made that is not in the child’s best interest to remain in the school of origin, the child will immediately be enrolled in a new school, even if the child and/or his or her guardians are unable to produce records normally required for enrollment; and
  • The child’s new school must immediately contact the school of origin to obtain relevant records.

The Every Student Succeeds Act was signed on Dec. 10, 2015 and amended the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). The ESSA contains provisions related to protections for children in foster care and require the Maine DOE and school districts to collaborate with the OCFS to ensure educational stability for children in foster care.

Further information will be shared during a conference call on Tuesday, Feb. 14, from 11am -12:30 pm. To access the presentation please use the following information:


Conference Number(s):        (877) 455-0244

Conference Code:               8223978943


For further information, please contact Janette Kirk, ESEA Director – Title I at 624-6707 or .