News


Published: February 13th, 2020

Next Chapter Symposium: Resources to Support Youth Aging-Out of Foster Care REGISTER NOW!!!

 

The Arizona Department of Education, First Star ASU Academy, CASA of Maricopa County, and Voices for CASA Children are proudly presents the Next Chapter Symposium: Resources to Support Youth Aging-Out of Foster Care. When youth age out of the foster care system they face a barrage of challenges. This cross governmental partnership aims to serve not only the youth aging-out of foster care, but those that support them as well.

The symposium will be held on Saturday, Feb. 22nd, 2020 from 8am-5pm at the ASU Tempe Campus Memorial Union. This FREE symposium will be open to CASA, the foster care review board, school staff, licensed/non-licensed foster parents, group home providers, organizations serving foster youth, and anyone who supports foster youth. Breakout sessions & resource tables will address the challenges that youth in foster care face along with any resources to face those challenges.

Topics to include:

Homelessness Career Development Teen Parenting
Food Insecurity Mental Health Workforce
Education Safe Dating Independent Living/YAP
Health Insurance Vital Documents Sex/Labor Trafficking
LGBTQA+ Support Substance Use & Abuse Scholarships

Be sure to register now for this FREE day of resources that will equip participants to better serve youth aging out of the foster care system. 

 

 

 

Posted in News |
Published: September 26th, 2019

Upcoming Community Events That Support Foster Care Education

 

The list of ways to get involved with ADE’s Foster Care Education Department continues to grow. Especially, as collaboration blossoms with foster youth serving entities.

Below is a list of some of the upcoming events for students in foster care & those that support this population.

 

ALICE COOPER’S THE ROCK TEEN CENTER Sept. 27th, 2019 

Dutch Bros. is having their annual Buck For Kids Day fundraiser at all of their locations. $1 of every drink sold at all of their Arizona locations will be donated to Alice Cooper’s The Rock Teen Centers, a place that provides a safe, free, arts focused after school program for many vulnerable students, including those in foster care.

 

ADE FOSTER CARE EDUCATION TRAININGS (Click title of training to register)

Phoenix Sharpening Support for Students in Foster Care AM  Oct. 3rd, 2019 10am-12pm @ ADE Jefferson Rm. 311 1535 W. Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ, 85007

Foster Care Topics- Transportation Oct. 3rd, 2019 1230pm-230pm @ ADE Jefferson Rm. 311 1535 W. Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ, 85007 

Foster Care Topics- Special Education Oct. 8th, 2019 10am-12pm ADE Jefferson Rm. 311 1535 W. Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ, 85007 

Phoenix Sharpening Support for Students in Foster Care PM Oct. 8th, 2019 1230pm-230pm ADE Jefferson Rm. 311 1535 W. Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ, 85007

 

AZ FRIENDS OF FOSTER CHILDREN FOUNDATION (AFFCF) VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION Oct. 10th, 2019 530pm-630pm @ AFFCF 360 E. Coronado Rd., Ste 190, Phoenix, AZ, 85004

The gift of time is one of the greatest gifts we can ever receive. If you’ve ever thought about volunteering your time to AFFCF, join us for our volunteer orientation. We’ll give you a little background on our history, our mission and the ways in which we serve children in foster care here in Arizona. The orientation is generally held once per quarter. If you’re interested in attending,please RSVP by clicking this link!

 

PHOENIX COLLEGE FAFSA EVENT Oct. 12th, 2019 10am-2pm @ Phoenix College Hannelly Center

Maricopa Community College’s ‘Bridging Success’ program that supports youth in foster care will be in attendance to help said youth fill out their FAFSA for 2020-2021.

 

ASU FIRST STAR ACADEMY Oct. 12th, 2019 10am-415pm  @ ASU Tempe WP Carey School of Business BAC 2nd Floor

Tonto Creek Camp and First Star ASU are inviting all high school students that have experienced foster care to come for a fun day at ASU Tempe. The event is open to all youth in care interested in exploring post-secondary options. There will be fun activities, ASU football tickets will be raffled, STEM Lab, workshops, free food, resources to pay for school, services, and connect with other young people. Lunch will be provided! Register here.

 

DCS POST SECONDARY DAY “WE ARE LEGENDS” Oct. 26th, 2019 @ Phoenix College

The goal is to plant seeds of the importance of furthering education by attending a trade school, certificate program, or by earning a degree. We want these youth to enter their early adult life with a strong skill set that will help them reach self-sufficiency.

 

 

If you have any events to add, email [email protected].

 

 

As always, if you or someone from your organization, would like to highlight a success story from a student in foster care or promote a needed resource, please email [email protected].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in News |
Published: August 21st, 2019

Fall 2019 Foster Care Training Frenzy

 

By now I am sure the new school year is already racing away at top speed!!! Hopefully, summer was a source of rejuvenation in preparation of another great school year serving AZ learners.

Below you will find the list of the ADE Foster Care Education trainings that will occur during the Fall semester with instructions on how to register for these FREE sessions. Though not as anticipated as a Pumpkin Spice Latte, the content provided will fully equip staff to ensure the best educational outcomes for students in foster care.

 

Note: Any new foster care liaisons need to attend at least one of the Sharpening Support for Students in Foster Care trainings.

Please forward this information to the appropriate person at the LEA. Thank you!

 

Click on the Individual titles below to register on ADE’s Event Management System (EMS). You must register to attend.

 

Pima Sharpening Support for Students in Foster Care 

Sept. 11th, 2019 @ 1pm-2pm

DCS Office 1450 S. Eastside Loop, Tucson, AZ, 85710

 

Yuma Sharpening Support for Students in Foster Care

Sept. 24th, 2019 @ 10am-12pm

Crane ESD Boardroom 4250 W. 16th St, Yuma, AZ, 85364

 

Phoenix Sharpening Support for Students in Foster Care AM 

Oct. 3rd, 2019 @ 10am-12pm

ADE Jefferson Rm. 311 1535 W. Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ, 85007

 

Foster Care Topics- Transportation

Oct. 3rd, 2019 @ 1230pm-230pm

ADE Jefferson Rm. 311 1535 W. Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ, 85007

 

 

Foster Care Topics- Special Education

Oct. 8th, 2019 @ 10am-12pm

ADE Jefferson Rm. 311 1535 W. Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ, 85007

 

Phoenix Sharpening Support for Students in Foster Care PM

Oct. 8th, 2019 @ 1230pm-230pm

ADE Jefferson Rm. 311 1535 W. Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ, 85007

 

Foster Care Topics- WEBINAR 2019-2020 Cycle 4 On-Site Monitoring (Foster Care Item) 

Nov. 12th, 2019 @ 2pm-4pm

 

WEBINAR Sharpening Support for Students in Foster Care

Nov. 20th, 2019 @ 10am-12pm

 

 

 

 

As always, if you or someone from your organization, would like to highlight a success story from a student in foster care or promote a needed resource, please email [email protected].

""

 

 

Posted in News |
Published: March 18th, 2019

Look Back, Forge Ahead

The sun is out & ADE’s Foster Care Education Program is in full bloom!

In early February, ADE, First Star ASU, Advocacy 31Nine, Voices for CASA Children, ACDL, & CASA Maricopa, provided a foster care & education training day for court appointed special advocates (CASAs), foster parents, and school staff. With close to 200 participants, it was an amazing day centered around helping those who support our students in foster care with the tools they need to better advocate for their youth.

ADE’s Foster Care Education Program was also fortunate enough to participate in the annual Spring Blitz, an all-day training event for foster parents to receive their required continuing education hours. The nearly 600 participants had a full slate of training on their plate, including a rousing session provided by ADE and AZ Department of Child Safety focusing on the collaboration needed to maintain school stability for our youth in foster care. Foster parents, CASAs, and school staff left both days empowered to tackle the daunting challenges of school stability for children in foster care.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) states that children in foster care should remain in the school they attended before entering foster care or the school they attended before a placement change (school of origin). So, children in foster care, have the right to stay at one school, regardless of whatever is going on in their personal life. The transportation of a child in foster care, to their school of origin, is a shared responsibility between the LEA (public school district or public charter) & the child welfare agency (most often, the Department of Child Safety (DCS)). The only reason a child in foster care would have to change schools is that it is in their best interest to go to a new school. If it is in the best interest of a child in foster care to go to a new school, the new school would need to immediately enroll that child, even without relevant paperwork. Children in foster care are statistically among the lowest performing demographics within education. This law helps to curb that trend by maintaining the school stability of children in foster care.

There are two remaining Spring trainings & spots are filling up!

Please register on the ADE Event Management System at:

https://ems.azed.gov/

(Registration closes 1 business day prior to the training)

Date Time Location Focus of Training
03/21/19 01:00 PM-02:30 PM WEBINAR ONLINE Transportation for Students in Foster Care WEBINAR

 

03/28/19 02:30 PM-04:00 PM WEBINAR ONLINE  

Foster Care 18-19 Cycle 4 in ALEAT WEBINAR

 

 

Posted in News |
Published: February 19th, 2019

Foster Care Spring Training

ADE’s Foster Care Education Department is ramping up it’s Spring session of professional development. There will be topical trainings about the ESSA foster care provisions, transportation, collaboration with the child welfare agency, and the foster care items in Cycle 4 On-Site Monitoring.

 

Who?

Anyone vested in the education of children in foster care. The target audience includes Local Education Liaisons, Title I/Federal Program Directors, School & District Administrators, Grant Writers, Enrollment Personnel, Counselors, Social Workers, and Child Welfare Agency Caseworkers.

 

What?

The Arizona Department of Education’s Foster Care Education Coordinator will offer these FREE trainings:

  • ESSA Foster Care Topical Trainings – Feb. 28th, Mar. 5th, Mar. 7th, Mar. 21st, & Mar. 28th (See table)
    • These 1.5 hr sessions will separately tackle topics relevant to Foster Care Education such as School of Origin, School Stability, ALEAT, and Collaboration with the child welfare agency.

When? Where?

Please see the training schedule below.  

Other resources include:

  • Local Liaison Resource Documents
  • Foster Care 101 Power Point presentation
  • Database of LEA Foster Care POC’s

Available at:

https://www.azed.gov/FosterCare/

Please register on the ADE Event Management System at:

https://ems.azed.gov/

(Registration closes 1 business day prior to the training)

 

Date Time Location Focus of Training
02/28/19 01:00 PM-02:30 PM WEBINAR ONLINE Collaborating with the Child Welfare Agency WEBINAR
03/05/19 11:30 AM- 01:00 PM ADE Jefferson Office

1535 West Jefferson St

Rm. B2

Phoenix, AZ 85007

Transportation for Students in Foster Care IN-PERSON TRAINING

 

03/07/19 01:00 PM-02:30 PM ADE Central Office

3300 N. Central Ave

Rm. 16-100

Phoenix, AZ 85012

Collaborating with the Child Welfare Agency IN-PERSON TRAINING

 

03/21/19 01:00 PM-02:30 PM WEBINAR ONLINE Transportation for Students in Foster Care WEBINAR

 

03/28/19 02:30 PM-04:00 PM WEBINAR ONLINE  

Foster Care 18-19 Cycle 4 in ALEAT WEBINAR

 

 

Posted in News |
Published: December 19th, 2018

Silver Bells & Silver Linings

As one could imagine, the task of ensuring school stability for students in foster care can be daunting!

The silver lining of this tumultuous journey is the amazing amount of teamwork, collaboration, and support found within the community of organizations that aim to see a successful future for students in foster care. There are many talented people, throughout our State, that are working to see that students in foster care receive the federally legislated provisions prescribed in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Local educational agencies (LEAs) & the child welfare agency bear the brunt of the burden of school stability for students in foster care, transportation to school of origin, and when in the best interest of the student, immediate enrollment to a new school. Many community organizations can assist in these efforts.

 

 

This blog post is a guest entry provided by the Director of the First Star ASU Academy, Gabriela Jimenez. First Star ASU Academy is an organization that is a long-term college preparatory program for high school youth in foster care to enhance college readiness in academics, life skills and personal development, while facilitating students’ self-discovery through monthly workshops and summer immersion programming at ASU.

 

First Star ASU Academy is now accepting applications! Click here to recommend a student & apply.

First Star ASU partners with the Department of Child Safety (DCS), attorneys and legal representatives, community agencies and foundations, schools, and social workers to create a comprehensive experience using a three-pronged approach.

Academics

First Star ASU keeps all participating youth on track for high school graduation and a successful transition to higher education through ACT & SAT prep, core academic instruction, and personalized success plans.

 

Life Skills

First Star ASU ensures participants learn how to balance physical and psychosocial health while developing skills in career preparation, leadership, and self-advocacy.

 

Caregiver Engagement

First Star ASU ensures caregivers understand the needs of foster youth and equips them with resources necessary to support their academic achievements.

 

Key elements of the program:

  • 3-week residential summer program for the participants
  • Year-round engagement with monthly academies and service projects
  • 4-year support Academics, life skills, college readiness, and caretaker engagement
  • Scholars are eligible to stay in the program even if placement status changes (An open case with DCS or Tribal social services at the time of application is required)
  • 100% free of charge to scholars and their families
  • Students can participate from any geographic area, no restrictions

We are reaching out to individuals with relationships to foster parents, caretakers, teachers, school counselors, caseworkers, and community organizations that might have contact with youth in foster care. We are looking to support 15-20 youth in-care that can benefit from the program. Our goal is to have as much time as possible with them to provide continued support during high school and their transition to higher education.

Here are some upcoming dates related to the program: 

First Star ASU Open House and Resource Fair

February 9, 2019. 1 pm to 3 pm, ASU Polytechnic (Cooley)

Residential summer program (ASU Polytechnic)

June 9 to June 29, 2019

 

Visit First Star ASU Academy for additional materials or to request an information session. You may contact the First Star ASU Academy Director Gaby Jimenez at (480)727-0677 or email [email protected].

 

 

 

 

As always, if you or someone from your organization, would like to highlight a success story from a student in foster care or promote a needed resource, please email [email protected].

 

Posted in News |
Published: November 26th, 2018

The Sunny Side of the Street

 

One of the immense benefits of this work is to watch talented school staff support our students.  With every post, a siren is sounded for educational success stories of children in foster care. What follows is the tale of a student (A.B.) and Desert Mountain School in Deer Valley Unified School District.

 

The foster care provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state that children in foster care have the right to remain in the school they were attending before entering foster care, or in this case, the school they were attending before a placement change (school of origin).  Even though, ESSA presumes that the best scenario for a child in foster care is to keep that school stability, the law also states that if it is in the best interest of a child in foster care to attend a new school, that new school school would have to immediately enroll that student, even without necessary paperwork.

 

Like most children in foster care, A.B. has had quite the wild ride. A.B. used to live in the far SE region of the Valley, but recently, has been placed in the far NW region of the Valley. After a thorough best interest determination process, it was decided that it is in the best interest of A.B. to attend a new school.

 

For undisclosed reasons, school is a very tense & stressful place for A.B. Many of A.B.’s most challenging behaviors occur during the school day. This process is unfortunately not new for A.B. So with much courage & resilience, A.B. embarked upon the journey of attending another new school, Desert Mountain School.

 

Per the law, Desert Mountain School immediately enrolled A.B. into school. On the first day of attendance, when A.B. stepped foot on campus, A.B. tried to run away. Instead of exacerbating this behavior, the school staff calmly corralled A.B. to safety. A.B. had plenty of time to cool down and regulate an elevated emotional state. Children in foster care statistically, have a higher rate of school suspensions, which lead to the loss of precious classroom time. Desert Mountain School was able to avoid such an outcome for A.B.

 

Under the leadership of the Principal, Nurse, School Psychologist, School Counselor, Special Education Strategist, Assistant Principal, and Speech Pathologist, the school’s commitment to understanding A.B.’s past trauma has lead to Desert Mountain School becoming a safe place to A.B.; where A.B. can start to learn, grow, and thrive. A.B. is being supported by the school in multiple ways. A.B. has a special pass to go to the library or see any of the previously mentioned caring adults on campus, whenever A.B. feels overwhelmed in class. The school has enlisted A.B.’s personal behavior coach to assist A.B. while on campus. Additionally, the Speech Pathologist has been willing to rearrange their schedule on several occasions to assist A.B. in times of stress. Even without the availability of all the resources that Desert Mountain School would like to employ, A.B. is slowing starting to integrate into the full school experience.

 

This story is far from complete. A.B. will probably require much more patience, support, and empathy to continue a path towards a successful educational future. While A.B.’s trauma is still preventing her from fully participating in class, the school is creating a support plan to transition her into the learning environment. With the help of Desert Mountain School, A.B. is well on the way.

 

As always, if you have any stories of educational success of children in foster care, please email them to [email protected]

 

Posted in News |
Published: October 15th, 2018

Fill Out The FAFSA Fast

Fall has finally come upon us, bringing with it, many gifts.

Short, breezy days. Long, playoff baseball nights. And everyone’s favorite, the opening of the FAFSA.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) became available on October 1st. Children in foster care have several post-secondary supports in Arizona, many of which require the student to fill out the FAFSA. Completing such forms can prove to be an anxious, panic inducing experience.

The YAchiever’s WIOA Youth program & Glendale Community College are teaming up to help alleviate these concerns with a FAFSA party for youth in foster care.

The event details are:

October 20th, 2018

10:00am-1:00pm

Glendale Community College

6000 W Olive Ave, Glendale, AZ, 85302

 

Agenda:

10:00am-11:15– Financial Aid Workshop (students will receive assistance with completing their FAFSA)

11:15am-11:45am– Angel Glad (Foster Care To Success; operates the Educational Tuition Voucher) speaking about additional post-secondary financial support for children in foster care.

11:45am-12:45pm– GCC FY Champions will present on the supports in place on campus for youth in foster care.

***Breakfast & Lunch will be provided.

To register contact:

Elena Reid Steinbeiss

p. 602.703.4114

e. [email protected]

 

As always, please feel free to email any success stories of children in foster care at school or any upcoming events to support the education of children in foster care.

Posted in News |
Published: August 1st, 2018

Kick The School Year Off With Some Professional Development!!

2018-2019 Foster Care Training Fall Schedule

 

Who?

 

Anyone vested in the education of children in foster care. The target audience includes Local Education Liaisons, School & District Administrators, Grant Writers, Enrollment Personnel, Counselors, Social Workers, and Agency Caseworkers.

 

What?

 

The Arizona Department of Education’s Foster Care Education Coordinator will offer these FREE trainings for the 2018-2019 school year:

 

  • ESSA Foster Care Essentials – August 7th, 14, & 21st (See table below for specifics)
    • This 1.5 hr session is an orientation to Foster Care & Education as legislated by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015. It covers key points of the federal legislation and responsibilities of the local educational agency and the LEA Foster Care Point of Contact. All LEAs are required to comply with this Act.

 

  • ESSA Foster Care Topical Training – August 7th, 14, & 21st (See table)
    • This 1.5 hr session will separately tackle topics relevant to Foster Care Education such as School of Origin, School Stability, ALEAT, and Collaboration with the child welfare agency.

 

  • Local Regional Day Conferences – September 11th. 13th, 19th 26th, 28th
    • This is a 1-day combined McKinney Vento & Foster Care training. Registration will be available early-August in the EMS System.

 

When? Where?

 

See the training schedule on the following page.

*********Please REGISTER on the ADE Event Management System at:*********

————————–>https://ems.azed.gov/<——————————–

 

(Registration closes 1 business day prior to the training)

Date Time Location Focus of Training
08/07/18 11:30 AM ADE Jefferson Office

1535 West Jefferson St

Rm. B2

Phoenix, AZ 85007

ESSA Foster Care Essentials

 

08/07/18 3:30 PM ADE Jefferson Office

1535 West Jefferson St

Rm. B2

Phoenix, AZ 85007

ESSA Foster Care Topical Training: School of Origin/Immediate Enrollment
08/14/18 9:00 AM ADE Jefferson Office

1535 West Jefferson St

Rm. B2

Phoenix, AZ 85007

ESSA Foster Care Essentials

 

08/14/18 3:30 PM ADE Jefferson Office

1535 West Jefferson St

Rm. B2

Phoenix, AZ 85007

ESSA Foster Care Topical Training: Transportation

 

08/21/18 11:30 AM ADE Jefferson Office

1535 West Jefferson St

Rm. 311

Phoenix, AZ 85007

ESSA Foster Care Essentials

 

08/21/18 3:30 PM ADE Jefferson Office

1535 West Jefferson St

Rm. 311

Phoenix, AZ 85007

 

ESSA Foster Care Topical Training: Title I Compliance (ALEAT)

 

08/24/18 11:30 AM Washington Elementary

4650 W Sweetwater Ave Glendale, AZ 85304

ESSA Foster Care Essentials

 

08/31/18 11:30 AM Sunnyside Unified School

2238 E. Ginter Rd.

Tucson, AZ 85706

ESSA Foster Care Essentials

 

Posted in News |
Published: July 11th, 2018

Summertime Survey Spectacular!!

Hopefully the summer has brought much fun, relaxation, and rest!

As we prepare to serve the wonderful students of Arizona, I want to take some time to do some quality assurance.

Here is a survey link to help us at ADE better understand how children in foster care being served at the LEA level. Please take the 5 minutes to complete this survey. Your candid, thorough, response will better equip ADE to provide a more robust support for the upcoming school year.

Enjoy your summer!!

Posted in News |