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Education for Youth in foster care

Education for Youth in foster care

SDUHSD supports the emotional, social, and other health needs of students in foster care as addressed with the provision of a safe, positive learning environment that is free from discrimination and harassment and that promotes students' self-esteem and academic achievement. To enable students in foster care to achieve state and District standards, SDUHSD provides pupils with full access to the district's educational program and implements strategies necessary for the improvement of the academic achievement of youth in the district's local control and accountability plan (LCAP).  SDUHSD also works to build feelings of connectedness with school, including, but not limited to, strategies that promote positive conflict resolution, the development of resiliency and interpersonal skills, and the involvement of foster parents, group home administrators, and/or other caretakers in school programs and activities. (References: EC 48853.5, BP/AR: 6173.1)


A youth in foster care means any of the following: 
  • A child who has been removed from their home pursuant to WIC 309.
  • A child who is the subject of a petition filed under WIC 300 or 602, whether or not the child has been removed from their home.
  • A dependent child of the court of an Indian tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization who is the subject of a petition filed in the tribal court pursuant to the tribal court’s jurisdiction in accordance with the tribe’s law.
  • A child who is the subject of a voluntary placement agreement, as defined in WIC 11400(p).    EC 48853.5
Rights of Foster Youth

Rights of Foster Youth

To review the standardized notice of Foster Youth rights, please visit
The following is a brief summary:
  • Right to attend either the “school of origin” or the current school of residence. The school of origin can be the school attended when the student first entered foster care, the school most recently attended, or any school the Foster Youth attended in the last 15 months. If any dispute arises regarding the request of a Foster Youth to remain in the school of origin, the Foster Youth has the right to remain in the school of origin pending resolution of the dispute.
  • Right to immediate enrollment even if the Foster Youth is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment (e.g., proof of residency, birth certificate, immunization, transcript), does not have clothing normally required by the school (e.g., school uniforms), or has outstanding fees, fines, textbooks, or other monies due to the school last attended.
  • Right to have the Foster Youth’s educational rights holder, attorney, and county social worker notified when the Foster Youth is undergoing any expulsion or other disciplinary proceeding, including a manifestation determination review for a Foster Youth who is a student with a disability, prior to a change in the Foster Youth’s placement.
  • Right of the Foster Youth not to have grades lowered for any absence from school that is due to a verified court appearance or related court-ordered activity, or to a decision by a court or placement agency to change the student’s placement, in which case, the grades must be calculated as of the date the student left school.
  • Right to have full and partial credits earned to be issued and accepted.
  • Right to priority access to an intersession program. If the Foster Youth moves during the intersession period, the Foster Youth’s educational rights holder shall determine which intercession program to attend. 
  • Right to file a complaint through the Uniform Complaint Procedures if there is an allegation that the District has not complied with requirements regarding the education of Foster Youth.


    • Youth have the right to stay in the same school after they move to a new foster care placement. The “school of origin” can be:
      • The school youth attended when they first entered foster care,
      • The school youth most recently attended, or
      • Any school youth attended in the last 15 months that they feel connected to.
    • The school district must work with the youth, education rights holder (ERH), caregiver, and social worker/probation officer to develop a plan to transport the youth to the school of origin.
    • If youth are transitioning from elementary school to middle school or from middle school to high school, youth have the right to transition to the same school as their classmates.
    • If there is any disagreement about which school a youth will attend, the youth has the right to stay in the school of origin until the disagreement is resolved.
    • Youth have the right to immediately enroll in their regular home school after they move placements.
    • Youth cannot be forced to attend a continuation school or other alternative education program, such as independent study, even if they are behind in credits or have discipline problems at school.
    • Youth have a right to immediately enroll in school and begin attending classes, even if they do not have the paperwork they would normally need for enrollment (such as birth certificate, transcript, or individualized education program) or they did not check out from their previous school.
    • The previous school must send youth education records to the new school after they enroll.
    • Youth have the right to participate in any activities available at their new school, such as sports teams, tutoring, or after-school clubs, even if they miss a tryout.
SDUHSD Foster Youth liaison

SDUHSD Foster Youth liaison

Executive Director of Student Services
SDUHSD District Office, 710 Encinitas Blvd., Encinitas, CA 92024