About Us | History
The California Foster Youth Education Task Force (CFYETF) was created in 2004 to address critical issues related to foster youth education. Subject matter experts representing more than 35 organizations and agencies, including the CDSS and DOE, Casey Family Programs, the California Youth Connection, and the Child & Family Policy Institute of California come together to bring greater attention to improving the disparate educational outcomes for students in foster care and increased information-sharing across systems at the state and local levels.
The purpose of the task force is to support successful educational outcomes for California's students in foster care by increasing awareness of the student's educational needs, promoting best and promising practices, and promoting policy improvements and reforms across educational, child welfare,and juvenile and family court systems. Its goals include, educational stability for students in foster care, seamless education transitions in the event of school changes, high quality educational experiences and successful transition to postsecondary education and/or career technical education.
The CFYETF has published fact sheets related to the educational needs of children in foster care, including eight published fact sheets with topics such as AB 490 (Chapter 862, Statutes of 2003), Education Rights, Special Education, Non-public Schools, AB 3632 (Statutes of 1984), Functional Behavioral Assessments and Behavioral Intervention Plans, School Discipline, and Special Education Discipline. These well-received fact sheets are intended to form the basis for public policy discussion and to support local educational agency adherence to state and federal statutes.
In 2007 and 2008, CFYETF convened annual statewide education summits, and each included over 300 participants from parents, youth and professionals in child welfare, probation, education, and the courts. The 2007 summit led to a series of recommendations presented to a panel of legislators and members of the CA Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care and later published in a report titled, ì2007 California Foster Youth Education Summit Recommendations to Improve Foster Youth Education Success in California.î In May 2009, the CFYETF convened its third annual summit in Sacramento. Speakers included Jaiya John, author and executive director of Soul Water Rising, and topics included: Coalition Building, Child Welfare and Education, School Discipline, Leveraging/Managing, Resources, Promising Practices, Assessment Models, Local Partnership, School Engagement, Multiple Pathways, Mental Health, Educational Rights, Recent Legislation, Higher Education, Information/Data Sharing, Academic Supports, Special Education, and AB490, which included a 5th anniversary commemoration of the bill highlighting implementation successes and challenges.
The California Foster Youth Education Task Force has:
- Developed and maintain a statewide forum to discuss and address practice and policy issues that affect educational outcomes for children and youth in foster care
- Supported foster youth education summits to share best practice and address cutting edge policy and practice issues
- Developed a model and create on-going opportunities to support interagency county teams focusing on improving educational outcomes
- Increased the visibility and urgency related to educational issues
- Enhanced legislative and executive awareness and interest in the educational needs of children and youth in care
- Provided recommendations to the legislature to address issues that affect educational outcomes for youth in foster care, incorporating the voices of young people currently and formerly in care
- Coordinated legislative visits with members of the Assembly and Senate Education Committees, as well as other key legislators, to increase their awareness of the unique educational issues facing children and youth in foster care and programs and services that have been shown to improve educational outcomes for these children and youth.
- Supported the promulgation of rules of court to provide guidance to juvenile court judges in the operation of educational rights for foster children
- Created and widely disseminated wallet cards, fact sheets and policy briefs on AB 490 and other issues that affect educational outcomes for youth in foster care.