Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Funding Opportunity Promotes Collaboration between Child Welfare and Education Systems

Multi-system partnerships and meaningful collaborations between child welfare, education and other youth serving systems are essential to ensure youth in care are afforded the ability to succeed and thrive in educational settings. Recently, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Children’s Bureau announced the availability of 17 month infrastructure grants to support the collaborations between child welfare systems and education systems to increase the educational stability of foster youth between the ages of 10 to 17 years old.

According to the Notice, projects should build the infrastructure capacity needed to facilitate permanency including adoption and other post-permanency education supports. These projects should:
  • Foster strategic coordination and institutionalized communication among public child welfare, education community organizations, targeted youths in care and their families;
  • Support the development of policies, procedures, and/or practices to increase the identification, enrollment, and attendance of targeted youths in care into comprehensive, high-quality education services;
  • Promote the awareness and utilization of multi-disciplinary interventions and quality practice that increase protective factors and decrease risk factors to improve outcomes for youths in foster care;
  • Promote the development of policy and procedures across child welfare, education and other supporting systems(courts, juvenile justice and health) aimed at increasing protective factors and mitigating the effects of childhood trauma
Oftentimes, educational and medical services are crucial supports for many families adopting children from foster care, especially children who have special education needs or extensive medical or mental health treatment needs.  Through this funding opportunity communities can help develop infrastructure to address such barriers to permanency for youth as well as implement multi-disciplinary interventions to improve the socio-emotional and behavioral well-being of youth in careApplications are due July 26, 2011.


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