Professional Development - Educational Stability for Children and Youth in Foster Care in Pennsylvania

Professional Development

2021 Paving the Way to Educational Success Conference

Tuesday, Oct. 5 – Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021 | Virtual

Join us in October and participate in discussions regarding academic stability and improving education outcomes for students experiencing homelessness and students in foster care.

School district foster care points of contact, homeless liaisons, child welfare agency points of contact, child welfare private providers, shelter staff, educators, school social workers, pupil services personnel, school counselors and others working with children and youth experiencing homelessness and children and youth in foster care to support their education are encouraged to attend.

Register for Paving the Way Conference

The 2021 Paving the Way to Educational Success Conference is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s programs of Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness and Educational Stability for Children and Youth in Foster Care, and is held in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and the Center for Schools and Communities.

Chafee Education and Training Grant Program: Determining Unmet PA Chafee ETG Costs

Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, 10:00 a.m. ET | Virtual

Awards for students who qualify for the PA Chafee Education and Training Grant (Chafee ETG) Program are traditionally based on students’ unmet costs. Learn how to determine unmet costs and calculate awards for Chafee ETG eligible students in this webinar. PA State Grant and Special Programs staff will also examine how the Consolidation Appropriations Act of 2020 impacts Chafee ETG awards for the 2021-22 Award Year.

Register for Chafee Education and Training Grant Program

Presented by PHEAA

PA Fostering Independence Tuition Waiver Program: The Role of the FosterEd POC

Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, 10:00 a.m. ET | Virtual

Successfully navigating the postsecondary education system can be a challenge for any student. As a youth aging out of foster care, finding stable housing, healthcare, and financial aid can further decrease students’ chances of completing a postsecondary credential. One of the methods the Fostering Independence Tuition Waiver (FosterEd) Program employs to reduce attrition for foster youth pursuing postsecondary education is requiring that participating institutions designate a Point of Contact (POC) to assist these students in minimizing the obstacles that prevent program completion. Come join PHEAA staff as we explore the POC requirements and provide tips and recommendations on how you can best support foster youth at your institution.

Register for PA Fostering Independence Tuition Waiver Program

Presented by PHEAA


Recorder Webinars/Events

To and Through: Creating Conditions that Support Higher Education Success for Youth with Experience in Foster Care

Hear from members of the Pennsylvania Youth Advisory Board (YAB) about their journey to and through higher education. The Pennsylvania YAB is comprised of current and former youth in foster care, ages 14-21. YAB youth leaders educate, advocate and form partnerships to create positive change in the substitute care system. This training will feature a moderated panel of YAB alumni discussing their experiences transitioning to higher education as well as how educators and child welfare professionals can create conditions that support youth with experience in foster care to and through higher education. The webinar will also highlight key information pertaining to Pennsylvania’s new Fostering Independence Tuition Waiver Program (FosterEd). Act 48 and NASW credits are available for those attending the webinar in its entirety. 

Making Quality Best Interest Determinations: Implementation of BIDs during COVID and Beyond

Four years into the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act’s protections for students in foster care, we have made great strides but ongoing efforts and planning are needed to successfully implement school stability policies to support students in foster care. This session features an in-depth discussion of the Best Interest Determination (BID) process, including an overview of tools to help schools and child welfare agencies collaborate around these important decisions, review of BID best practices by school district and child welfare agency points of contact, and discussion on COVID-19’s effect on BIDs and ways to help students in foster care now and in the upcoming school year. 

Employing Self-Compassion and Relationship Building to Address Trauma in Youth

“Trauma-Informed PA: A Plan to Make Pennsylvania a Trauma-Informed, Healing-Centered State” was released July 2020 by the Office of Advocacy and Reform. The plan presents a continuum starting with becoming trauma aware and moving toward being a healing-centered state. This presentation will utilize the continuum presented in the plan to address relationship strategies when working with youth, as well as strategies to move from compassion fatigue to compassion resilience to assist adults who are working with youth who have experienced trauma. 

Begin the Journey: The Pennsylvania Department of Education Equitable Practices Hub

The Pennsylvania Department of Education released the Equitable Practices Hub in September 2020. The hub is organized by six equity pillars of practice: 1) General Equity Practices, 2) Self-Awareness, 3) Data Practices, 4) Family and Community Engagement, 5) Academic Equity, and 6) Disciplinary Equity. This session will provide an overview of the hub and the importance of equity in Pennsylvania schools.

Creating and Exploring Local Tools to Ensure Educational Stability for Youth in Foster Care

In this webinar, attendees will explore tools and procedures created locally to aid in the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act’s foster care provisions. Discover why these local tools help to ensure educational stability for youth in foster care and take away ideas to create new procedures or to integrate into existing practices. Attendees will also learn how the Educational Stability Regional Foster Care Offices can assist local education agencies and county children and youth agencies in reaching their goals to provide educational stability.

ESSA’s Foster Care Provisions 101

In this webinar attendees will be provided with an overview of the protections LEAs and child welfare agencies must provide to youth in foster care in order to ensure educational stability. The presenter will also review the history and implementation of ESSA’s foster care provisions in Pennsylvania as well as introduce best practices regarding implementation.

The Every Student Succeeds Act: Educational Stability for Foster Care Youth in Pennsylvania — Local Points of Contact Responsibilities

This webinar reviews and reinforces the responsibilities and best practice expectations of Pennsylvania local education agency foster care points of contact for ensuring the educational stability for foster care youth, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015.

Ensuring Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care: Transportation Procedures

Signed into law on December 10, 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, and includes new provisions for children in foster care that complement requirements in the Fostering Connections Act of 2008. These provisions take effect on December 10, 2016. (You can learn more about these new provisions and what they mean for states, districts, and schools through joint guidance released on June 23, 2016, from the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.)


U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services Events and Webinars

Webinar Series on ESSA Provisions for Foster Care Youth

An Overview of the ED/HHS Joint Guidance

Transportation Procedures

Effective Collaboration

Education and Child Welfare Points of Contact

Best Interest Determinations and Immediate Enrollment