The Uninterrupted Scholars Act (USA) amends the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to allow DCBS access to educational records of children placed in foster care. The USA states that child welfare workers, who have the right to access a child’s case plan, are also afforded the right to access a foster child’s educational records.
The amendment will help ensure that school records requested for the educational passport, including individual education plans (IEP), are transferred quickly when a child moves to a different school, due to placement in foster care. In addition, it eliminates the requirement that the education agency provide notice to a parent regarding the release of education records to the child welfare agency, when an order has been issued and the parent is involved in court proceedings involving a child abuse, neglect or dependency action. The amendments to FERPA in the Uninterrupted Scholars Act will assist DCBS in fully implementing the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 that promotes improved educational experiences and outcomes for children in foster care.
The Educational Passport is the document that assists the Cabinet and the school in determining what educational records are to be released for state agency children.
State agency children are children committed to or in the custody of the cabinet who are placed in a CHFS services operated or contracted institution, treatment center, facility, including those for therapeutic foster care and excluding those for non-therapeutic. State agency children include children placed in a private facility pursuant to child care agreements.
This Educational Passport is to be completed by the school or educational facility which a state agency foster child is leaving. This document provides the child’s new school or facility with basic demographic and academic information about the child. It is utilized to ensure the timely transfer of educational records and share the educational needs of the child with the new school. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is responsible for providing the educational passport form to the receiving school or educational facility. The school is responsible for transferring the child's records to the new school.