the PowerPoint here

The Uninterrupted Scholars Act:
Promising Information-Sharing Practices
Presented by:
The Legal Center for Foster Care
and Education
Collaboration of:
– American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law
– Casey Family Programs
– Annie E. Casey Foundation
– Juvenile Law Center
– Education Law Center-PA
A national technical assistance resource and information
clearinghouse on legal and policy matters affecting the education
of children and youth in foster care
Listserv, training materials, conference calls and webinars,
publications, searchable database (includes state laws and
Today’s Webinar
Why we need to share information
How information sharing shapes policies and
How information sharing can be accomplished
How the Uninterrupted Scholars Act can support
and facilitate information sharing
Models of information sharing
Lessons learned: Yes, this can be done…
Why We Need Information Sharing
Critical to identifying what is really happening:
Establishes co-ownership of the issue
Ex: attendance
Leverages the resources of both systems
Informs and shapes policies of both agencies
Ex. School stability - “Better information = better outcomes”
Ex: living placements impact school success
One system can’t solve the issues alone
Sharing information = common goals, more effective
strategies & greater accountability of both systems
What Could Systems Collect/Share
 School history
 School stability
 Academic Performance
 Need for Accommodations
 Transition Planning
Sharing Information Methods
Education to Child
Child Welfare to Ed
Joint Research
Common Data System
Accessed by Multiple
Agencies (with varying
levels of accessibility)
Information Sharing Models
California: Statewide Information Sharing
What They Shared: Education & Child Welfare: Six-step matching
process using names, addresses, etc.; Analyzed data of over 43,000
with open episode in foster care during SY 2009-2010.
 What They Learned: Where students in foster care attend school;
high rates of school mobility; lower levels of academic achievement &
graduation rates than other at-risk groups
 What They Are Doing: Identifying areas of targeted focus for
improving education outcomes & undertaking in-depth look at how
foster-care experiences of students are associated with their education
outcomes (living placement, length of stay in care etc.)
Learn more: or
Information Sharing Models
Allegheny County, PA:
DHS & Pittsburgh Public & Other School Districts
What They Share: Real-time daily information sharing:
school districts send info to DHS warehouse (personal ID,
enrollment info, GPAs, attendance, suspensions, standardized
test scores, type & date of IEP
What They Learn: school stability by grade, lower attendance
& GPAs, lower reading & math proficiency, higher suspension
What They Are Doing: Child welfare education screen,
attendance alerts & after school programs,
Learn more:
Contact Information
Maura McInerney
Education Law Center
215-238-6970 Ext. 316
Improving Education Outcomes for
Children in Child Welfare
Sarah Zlotnik, MSW, MSPH
November 14, 2013
at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
“Evidence to Action”
• Review key education
findings from recent brief
– Absences
– School changes
– Challenges to cross-system
• Identify recommendations
to strengthen educational
success for youth in child
The Children’s Stability and Well-being
(CSAW) study
– Followed 407 children ages 3-8 for 24 months, who entered foster care
between 2006-2008
– Almost 3,400 interviews with caregivers, caseworkers, and teachers
– Education Sub-Analysis
• Subset of 209 school-age children ages 5-8
• Linked data records from Department of Human Services, School District of
Philadelphia, and foster care provider agencies
– 90 participants
– Teachers, counselors, foster parents, and caseworkers
Led by David Rubin, MD, MSCE
Funded by William Penn Foundation, Stoneleigh Foundation,
National Institute of Child Health & Development
High rate of absenteeism
Definitions of placement stability
Early Stable
(45 days)
( >9 months)
Late Stable
(45 days to 9 months)
Note: Any child who reunified home was assigned to a
separate “Reunified” category.
High rate of absenteeism
Days out of school driven by
Absence rate is even higher for children
before entry into foster care
Numerous school changes within 24
Confusion about policies
“I’ve been in some schools
that are like, ‘That’s not a
problem. Come on in. Let me
get your ID. Here’s the
counselor. Let me tell you
about the child.’ And then I
have some other ones that just
kind of like, ‘We don’t feel like
doing it.’ They’re burdened
“But you know they
want us to do
everything. But yet
you call the school
up and they’re like,
‘Well you’re not
authorized to get
this information.’”
Agency Caseworker
Agency Caseworker
"What is the current policy? And then maybe even having some
protocols that we would follow in regards to the students that are in
foster care.”
School Counselor
Ineffective cross-system communication
“You go to the school to get a transfer or to see
how the kids were doing in school…and they’re
like ‘Did you know she hasn’t been to school in
like X amount of days? Did you know that
they’re failing?...’ So why are you telling me
now? What happened before?”
Agency Caseworker
“My experience is of somewhat frustration in the lack of communication from the agencies
involved, including DHS and the social workers and the advocate. Only in emergencies do I get that
information, and what’s sorely lacking is a phone call to be proactive…”
School Counselor
Ineffective cross-system communication
“And they kind of
envision the counselor, I
think, as just behind a
desk waiting for them to
arrive. I don’t know, but
it’s just that’s not the
School Counselor
“I had an individual in my
room and I wasn’t aware
that he received…that he
was a part of the special ed
process because that
information never came
Opportunities for action
1. Real-time, comprehensive data-sharing among child
welfare, education, and behavioral health
1. Tracking and response protocol for absences,
suspensions, and behavioral health issues
1. Integrated service delivery
Paving the way in Philadelphia
Thanks to the CSAW team and partners
David Rubin, MD, MSCE
CSAW Principal Investigator
– Denise Actie, MSW
– Taylor Hendricks, MSSP
– Sophia Hwang, MSEd
– Christina Kang-Yi, PhD
– Jin Long, PhD
– Amanda O’Reilly, MPH
– Meredith Matone, MHS
– Robin Mekonnen, MSW
– Kathleen Noonan, JD
– Caroline Watts, EdD
– Sarah Zlotnik, MSW, MSHP
– Cathy Zorc, MD, MSHP
CSAW Partners
- School District of Philadelphia
- Philadelphia Department of
Human Services
- Philadelphia Department of
Behavioral Health and
Intellectual disAbility Services
- PA Council of Children, Youth &
Family Services providers
- CSAW Advisory Board
Resources on PolicyLab’s related work
Evidence to Action briefs
• Improving education outcomes for children in child welfare (2013) - LINK
• Securing child safety, well-being, and permanency through placement
stability in foster care (2009) - LINK
• The relationship of placement experience to school absenteeism and
changing schools in young, school-aged children in foster care.
Zorc, O'Reilly, Matone, Long, Watts, Rubin. Children and Youth Services Review. 2013;35(5):826-833.
• Cross-system barriers to educational success for children
in foster care: The front line perspective.
Noonan, Matone, Zlotnik, Hernandez-Mekonnen, Watts, Rubin, et al.
Children and Youth Services Review. 2012;34(2):403-408.
Sarah Zlotnik, MSW, MSPH
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
3535 Market Street, 15th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Twitter: @PolicyLabCHOP
Sharing Information
Across Education, Child
Welfare and Courts
Uninterrupted Scholars Act Webinar
November 14, 2013
Elaine E. Fink
What Is KISR! ?
A web of coordinated supports,
interventions & protocols within and outside
of schools that promote education success
and stability for students in foster care.
KISR! Partners
• Hamilton Co. Dept. of Job & Family Services
• Cincinnati Public Schools
• Hamilton Co. Juvenile Court
• Legal Aid Society of SW Ohio
Target Population
• K - 12 students
• Attend Cincinnati Public Schools
• Custody of Hamilton County
• Expanded to include Protective Supervision
• Detailed MOU among partners provided for
comprehensive information-sharing
necessary to accomplish program goals
• Data-Sharing Agreement subsequently
created as stand-alone document
Cinti Public Schools & Hamilton Co
Child Protection Profiles:
• 33,000 students in 56 schools
• 250 youth in foster care attend CPS
• 1800 children in Care or Under Agency Supervision
• 1100 (61%) are school-aged
• Race & Income demographics for both systems:
76% children of color and 70% low income
KISR! Key Program Components
• KISR! Liaison in each school
• 2 Child Welfare Education Specialists
• Education Court Reports & Jud Bench Card
• Individual student advocacy through Legal Aid
Data Collection Challenges Required a
Sense of Humor
Learning Partner Dashboard
• Existing data infrastructure
• Maintained by Cinti Public Schools
• 52 Education data points populate daily
• 13 Child Welfare data points exported weekly
Learning Partner Dashboard
SAMPLE OF DATA POINTS for Education and Child Welfare
• Individual Identifiers
• Special Education Information
• Demographic Profiles
• Discipline
• School Placement(s)
• School Disruption
• School Changes
• Promotion/Retention
• Enrollment
• Graduation
• Attendance
• Agency Placement(s)
• Grade Level
• Legal Status
• Academic Performance
• Termination Status
• Test Scores
Flexibility of LPD Reports
• Target individual students or aggregate group
• Integrate child welfare and education
• Generate on quarterly, annual or as needed
Individual Students & LPD
• Reports address individual student data:
– Mobility
– Attendance
– Discipline referrals
– Academic performance
– Special education status
– Type of custody
– Length of time in program
• Flags for students at risk
Aggregate Data & LPD
Reports addressing KISR! student data in
– custody status
– placement changes
– attendance
– mobility
– at-risk academic indicators
• Quality of LPD Reports is dependent on
accuracy of data going in
• Need additional resources to support ongoing
capacity to analyze LPD Reports
Example of data revealed by LPD
Despite home placement that changed 3
times, KISR! student maintained in same
school throughout turbulent period
Documented Outcomes from LPD
• Youth Served: 668
• Graduation Rates: Every KISR! high school senior
graduated from high school -- 12 in 2012 and 15 in 2013
• School Stability: most KISR! students remained in one
school throughout year
• Enrollment: every KISR! student began school on first
day of academic year -- 2012 & 2013
• Discipline: No expulsions of KISR! students
Systemic Changes at
Cincinnati Public Schools
• Immediate School Enrollment
• School Fees: Automatic Waiver
• Student & Class Profiles
• Go extra mile to keep foster youth in school &
promote academic success
CPS No-Barrier Enrollment Protocol
for Youth in Foster Care
• Ohio Law requires that children in foster care be
IMMEDIATELY ENROLLED in school based on
submission of a Juvenile Court order placing the
child in the custody Job & Family Services.
Systemic Changes at Child Welfare
• Education stability is factor in placement decisions
• New policy avoids removal of children from school
for visitation and discretionary case plan services
• Protocols to ensure accurate & timely entry of
school data into statewide database
• Caseworkers are better trained on education law
Systemic Changes at Juvenile Court
• Magistrates are trained on education law
• Focus on academic success & school stability
at court hearings
• Judicial Bench Card for Education Success
• Youth are engaged in education planning
during court hearings
“I changed schools when I changed foster homes in the
middle of my sophomore year in 2012. That’s when I
became part of KISR! I was scared I was going to fail & I
wanted to give up. My KISR! Education Specialist helped
me. I passed sophomore year because of KISR! Without
that support I would not have made it. Now I’m on track
to graduate!”
Angela, KISR! junior, January 2013
Elaine E. Fink
Managing Attorney, Children’s Advocacy
Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, LLC
215 E. 9th Street, Suite 500
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Cross System Information
Sharing Pre and Post:
The Uninterrupted Scholars Act
Mi c h elle L u st i g , Ed . D, M SW, P P S C
S a n Di e go Co u nt y Off i c e Of Ed u cat ion
S t u d ent S u p port S e r vic es
Foste r You t h A n d Ho me l ess Ed u cati on S e r vices
Relationship Between Data Sharing and
Educational Outcomes
◦ Awareness
◦ Cooperation
◦ Collaboration
◦ Responsibility
◦ Matriculation
◦ Academic performance
◦ Graduation rates
◦ School stability
Foster Youth Student Information
System (FY-SIS©)
•Shared Governance-FY-SIS© Advisory Group
•Data warehouse
•SDCOE is responsible for ensuring secure
and filtered access: unique screen sets based
on user group
•Restricted access to certain data
•Security/Firewalls/FTP process
Foster Youth Student Information
System (FY-SIS©)
•Weekly feeds from Child Welfare and
•Daily feeds from Juvenile Court and
(nearly all) 42 school districts
•User group administrator role
•User group permissions defined
Foster Youth Student Information
System (FY-SIS©)
FY-SIS© Contains:
 Demographic Information
 Health Information
 Medications (Restricted)
 Assigned Social Worker/Probation
 Well Child History
 Immunizations
 Assigned Attorney
 Placement History (Restricted)
 Probation Only: Minute Orders,
 Education Rights Holder
 School History including current school Conditions of Probation, Waivers
and Hearing Dates
 Grades and Attendance
 California English Language
 Unofficial Transcript
Assessment (CELDT)
Foster Youth Student Information
System (FY-SIS©)
FY-SIS© Does Not Contain:
 Reason for Removal (300 code)
 Family of Origin Information
 Sibling Information
 Psychiatric Diagnosis
 Mental Health History
 Special Education Information
 Discipline Information (planning stages)
 Standardized Test Scores*
Authorized Users
•Judges/ Court Clerks
•Social Workers
•Probation Officers
•Attorneys (DLG, APD, PD)
•School Site Administrators
•School District Administrators
•School Police Officers*
•Group Homes
Considerations and Lessons Learned
Cross System Data Sharing
 Begin with the end in mind
 Engagement of all stakeholder groups
 Agreement of who has legal access to which
 Youth (student) concerns and how to
address them
 Determine the best way to meet competing
demands, policies, mandates and restrictions
Considerations and Lessons Learned
Cross System Data Sharing
Consideration of
who maintains the database
who owns the data
who owns the intellectual property that
is the physical database
Thank you!
Michelle Lustig, Ed.D, MSW, PPS
Panelist Contact Information:
Jessica Feierman, Supervising Attorney, Juvenile Law Center:
Maura McInerney, Senior Staff Attorney, Education Law Center-PA:
Sarah Zlotnik, Senior Strategist, CHOP PolicyLab:
Elaine Fink, Managing Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio:
Michelle Lustig, Manager, Foster Youth and Homeless Education Services, San Diego County Office of
Legal Center for Foster Care and Education’s website on Data & Information Sharing: