Foster Care Defined
Foster Care is defined as substitute care for children placed by the Department of Human Services or a tribal child welfare agency away from their parents and for whom the department or agency has placement and care responsibility, including placements in foster family homes, foster homes of relatives, group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities, child care institutions and pre-adoptive homes.
Some foster students in the care and custody of DHS Child Welfare will need transportation to remain in their school district/school of origin. To facilitate transportation for these students, an LEA must collaborate with ODE to ensure that transportation for children in foster care is provided, arranged, and funded. An LEA must develop and implement clear written procedures governing how transportation will be provided to maintain foster care students in their school district/school of origin.
Foster Student School District/School of Origin Transportation Information
DHS Information and Forms
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaces No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and affords states greater flexibility. The new law extends the promise of an excellent, well-rounded education to every student, regardless of race, family income, home language, or disability. ESSA encourages schools and educators to innovate and create systems that address local needs. As a part of this work, the Oregon Department of Education remains committed to designing a State Plan that reflects the state’s education priorities.
Graduation Requirements and College Preparation
ORS 329.451 has been amended by the State Legislature in 2017 in such a way to allow students who have been in foster care, at some point during grades 9 to 12, to earn a high school diploma by meeting the high school diploma standards established by the State Legislature. In order to do this, the local school district must grant a waiver of diploma requirements established by the LEA board of education. In this situation, the definition of foster care student would include those students in DHS Child Welfare custody as well as those foster students placed in Development Disability foster home. These changes take place on 7/1/17.
Transition Post-Secondary Supports
Adolescents face a range of developmental issues, and as teens approach adulthood, living independently becomes a significant goal. While youth with intact families may struggle to achieve self-reliance, youth in foster care face formidable obstacles. The following resources provide information on helping teens in foster care transition to adulthood and live independently.
Foster care is a temporary living arrangement for children who need a safe place to live when their parents or guardians cannot safely take care of them. Most children are in foster care because of a history of abuse or neglect.
DHS Developmental Disabilities Foster Care
The DHS, Seniors and People with Disabilities offers 24-hour out of home services for children with developmental disabilities who can no longer continue to live in their family’s home. These services are accessed through your local Community Developmental Disabilities Program (CDDP). The local CDDP determines an individual’s eligibility. The various service sites are located in communities throughout the state and are operated under contracts with state or county government.
Certified and trained foster families assist children with their activities of daily living, providing supervision and guidance in a nurturing setting to maintain the child’s health and safety while working to increase levels of self-confidence and independence. Foster providers support children in their school programs, in community activities, in adult transition planning and when it is a part of the child’s individual plan, maintaining connection with the child’s family. Each child in foster care has an Individual Support Plan (ISP) which is updated annually.
Special Education staff within ODE has the primary responsibility for assuring that young children and students with disabilities receive an appropriate education program in the least restrictive environment. This happens through collaboration with families, districts, agencies, and programs to ensure quality services. Our website is a resource to parents, teachers and administrators and provides access to available information, documents and guidelines.
ODE Foster Care Point of Contact: