The Foster Youth Services Program assists foster youth in improving their academic performance and personal accomplishments. Some of the services available are counseling, tutoring, mentoring, special education and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 services, health services, post-secondary education, and transition to foster youth.
Foster youth have a constitutional right to attend their “school of origin.” If a student had a positive experience at any of these schools in the last 15 months, they are included in this category. Foster youth can begin school right away, even if they lack certain records, such as immunizations or transcripts.
Students in foster care must have access to the same academic resources, services, and extracurricular and enrichment activities that are available to all students. As part of their decision-making process, school placement decisions are made by the Educational Rights Holder in consultation with other parties and must take into account the child’s best interests and the least restrictive educational environment necessary to achieve academic progress. We are here to assist the student in this process to ensure a seamless transition and successful educational experience.
McKinney Vento (Homeless)
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act guarantees homeless children and youth educational rights and protections under federal law. McKinney-Vento defines homelessness as the following: youth sharing housing due to economic hardship; youth living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, and shelters; and youth living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, or bus stations. Students eligible under the McKinney-Vento Act have the right to remain in their original school and enroll immediately, even if certain records, such as immunizations or transcripts, are not available at the time of enrollment.
The Foster & Homeless Youth Liaison for the Benicia Unified School District is available to assist with school enrollment, school placement, and educational issues, and will work with students’ families to overcome any obstacles they may face.
Additional services may also be available to foster and homeless youth:
- assistance with school supplies
- basic needs, such as clothing and hygiene items
- free breakfast and lunch at school
- fee waivers
- assistance with school records transfers
- adjusted credit requirements for graduation
The Foster & Homeless Youth Liaison or School Counselor can help determine which services and supports may be available to help students be successful in school. For more information you can contact John Ovick, Director of Student Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.