Job & Family Services Office of Families and Children
Educational Stability for Foster Youth

Every Student Succeeds Act  

Over the past few years, the federal government has launched various efforts to increase educational stability and improve academic outcomes for youth in foster care. In December 2015, Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), and instituted new protections specifically for foster children.

The foster care requirements emphasize collaboration and shared decision-making among child welfare and educational agencies. While ESSA does not create new mandates for child welfare, it mirrors and enhances similar provisions in the Fostering Connections and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. Considered together, these laws make clear that child welfare agencies and school systems are jointly responsible for the educational stability of children in foster care.

The new requirements under ESSA are designed to provide foster youth equitable opportunity for academic achievement and social development. These provisions emphasize the importance of keeping foster children in their schools of origin when their living arrangements change (either by entering foster care or changing substitute care placements) unless it is determined to be in an individual child’s best interest to change schools. Should a school transfer be necessary, ESSA further requires that foster children be immediately enrolled in their new schools without delay, regardless of whether relevant records are available in order to limit educational disruption. These provision are effective December 10, 2016.


Ohio's Joint Foster Care Guidance  

Ohio's ESSA Foster Care Implementation Checklist  

Ohio's Foster Care Student Checklist  

Ohio's Foster Care Educational Stability Process   

Ohio's Model Best Interest Determination Form   

Ohio's Sample Transportation Procedure

Foster Care Presentations  

Foster Care Overview  

Educational Stability  

Local Point of Contact  




U.S. Department of Education Foster Care Guidance  

ESSA Foster Care Overview  

U.S. Department of Education Dear Colleague Letter  

Point of Contact Communication to Superintendents October 2016  

Public Children Services Association of Ohio  

American Bar Association  

U.S. Department of Education Educational Stability for Students in Foster Care  

Implementing Transportation Procedures - AASA/NAEHCY  

National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth - NAEHCY  

Data Sharing Toolkit  

Chronic Absenteeism Toolkit  

U.S. Department of Education Foster Care Transition Toolkit

Points of Contact  

Local Child Welfare Agencies:  County Child Welfare Contacts 

State Child Welfare:  Lucy.Gobble@jfs.ohio.gov     

The Ohio Department of Education Website 
Ohio Department of Education:  FosterCare@education.ohio.gov

The Ohio Department of Youth Services (for Title IV-E Courts):  Courtney.Alcott@dys.ohio.gov