A new round of discretionary grants focusing on educational success for children in foster care has just been announced by the Children’s Bureau. Child Welfare-Education System Collaborations to Increase Educational Stability is authorized by the Adoption Opportunities Program (P.L. 111-320). Grant funding supports infrastructure building that targets the improvement of permanency and educational stability through collaborative initiatives between state, local, or tribal child welfare agencies and education systems. Collaborations should also include additional relevant stakeholders like the courts and health and mental health agencies.
Funded projects are expected to foster communication, promote multi-disciplinary interventions, increase protective factors and reduce risk factors, promote social and emotional well-being, develop policies to identify a target population, enroll them in school, increase their school attendance, and mitigate the effects of trauma. The target population should be middle or high school youth reported to or served by child welfare in-home, out-of-home or post-adoption. Outcome findings must be tracked and disseminated to improve the field’s knowledge base. The funding announcement reviews these basic requirements in further details and includes additional information on child and family well-being and educational outcomes; multi-system partnerships and capacity building; and evaluations and demonstrations, as well as proposal instructions. Up to ten state, local, or tribal governments, school districts, public or private higher education institutions, or non-profits will be awarded two-year grants ranging from $25,000 to $250,000. Applications are due by May 29, 2012.