For the past several years the Maine Department of Education (DOE) has shared information to with school administrative units (SAUs’) Foster Care Points of Contact. This year, Maine DOE and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are adding a new twist to the yearly presentation – DHHS’s Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) regional Foster Care Points of Contact will be included in the presentation and will have breakout sessions to provide an opportunity for regions to connect and to communicate current reality and concerns. For example, the SAU Foster Care Points of Contact in York County will have an opportunity to connect with the DHHS’s Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) District 1 Point of Contact (POC) in a small breakout group conversation.
The backstory: 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 requires the Maine DOE and school districts to collaborate with the OCFS to ensure educational stability for children in foster care. Join Office of School and Student Supports Director Julie Smyth and Regional Associate Director of Child Welfare Services Jean Leonard on Thursday, November 30th via Zoom for a 3:30 Annual Foster Care Training for POCs.
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.
Register in advance for this meeting: Meeting Registration Link
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting on November 30th.
For questions, please contact Julie Smyth, Director of the Office of School and Student Supports – at 207.592.0949 or email@example.com .