Foster Care in Texas
On any given day, there are approximately 16,000 school-aged children and youth in Texas schools who are in foster care. Texas children and youth in foster care comprise a small percentage of the total student population yet face unique challenges that greatly impact success in the school environment. Before entering foster care, children and youth may have lived in chaotic home environments, experienced physical or emotional trauma, attended school sporadically, or had parents or family members who were unable to meet their physical and emotional needs.
Foster Children/Youth in AISD
Our department staff provides supports and services for foster children and youth enrolled in AISD to ensure educational stability. SOS staff work in collaboration with campus staff and other departments to facilitate student access to:
- Nutrition Services
- Enrollment (Immediately)
- Transportation Assistance (School of Origin)
- Student case management
- School-Wide Programs
- Transitional Planning
Frequently Asked Questions
The term foster care refers to all children and youth who are in the custody of the State of Texas due to abuse and/or neglect, regardless of their living arrangement.
Students are identified via online enrollment process. If the guardian/caregiver replies “yes” to the question of whether student is in the conservatorship of DFPS, they are directed to provide a copy of the CPS Form 2085 to their campus staff.
The campus registrar or clerk obtains a copy of the CPS Form 2085 from guardian/caregiver during the enrollment process. The registrar or clerk will upload into TEAMS a copy of the CPS Form 2085.
Student Outreach Services staff assigned to campuses work in collaboration with campus staff and other departments to provide supports/services as needed.
Students in foster care are entitled to receive supports to help maintain educational stability such as immediate enrollment, nutrition services, and transportation planning, as well as access to school wide programs and transitional services for college/career options.
Education Laws and Guidance
Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, Public Law 110-351 - Federal law that directs child welfare agencies to ensure education stability for children and youth in foster care, including coordination among child welfare and education agencies to ensure education stability for students in foster care.
Texas Education Code addressing students in foster care:
- Data sharing and data collection requirements in PEIMS - TEC § 7.029 (Chapter 1 (PDF), p. 16; Chapter 5 (PDF), pgs. 45-46)
- Immediate school enrollment without records - TEC § 25.002(g) (Chapter 7 (PDF), p. 56)
- Attendance in the school the student was enrolled immediately before entering conservatorship, even when placed outside of the district attendance zone, until the student successfully completes the highest grade level offered by the school - TEC § 25.001(g) (Chapter 8 (PDF), p. 62)
- Excused absences for court-ordered appointments - TEC § 25.087 (Chapter 10 (PDF), p. 75)
- 11th or 12th grade student who transfers to a new school district and does not meet the graduation requirements of the new school district may request a diploma from the former school district, when on-track to graduate at the previous school - TEC § 28.025 (Chapter 9 (PDF), p. 92)
- Free eligibility for PRE-K - TEC § 29.153(b)(6) (Chapter 10 (PDF), p. 74)
- Accelerated instruction (at-risk indicators and compensatory education) - TEC § 29.081(d)(11) (Chapter 6 (PDF), p. 51; Chapter 11 (PDF), pgs. 82-83)
- Free lifetime college tuition and fees waiver. The waiver is activated when a student enrolls in dual credit or another course where a student may earn college credit- TEC § 54.366 – (Chapter 13 (PDF), pgs. 104-106)
- School districts and open enrollment charter schools are required to appoint a Foster Care Liaison and notify TEA of their Foster Care Liaison appointment - TEC § 33.904 (Chapter 5 (PDF), p. 44)
- Transition Assistance from one school to another of students in foster care - TEC § 25.007 (Chapter 11 (PDF), pgs. 84-91).
Foster Care Resources
- Texas Dept of Family & Protective Services
- DFPS Foster Care Transitional Living Services Handout
- TEA Foster Care and Student Success Resource Guide for Educators
- Talking to Foster Youth About School
- What Educators Can Do to Help Youth in Foster Care
- Department of Education Foster Care Transition Toolkit
- Transitional Resources Action Center (TRAC)
- National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD Survey)
- Child Welfare Information Gateway