Article Out of Colorado on Keeping Kids in Foster Care in the Same School

While this article doesn’t talk about Native children populations, this is an aspect of foster care I always teach, and often law students find it surprising that children are moved out of their school district (and related sports teams, academic teams, IEPs, etc. etc.) when they are removed from their home. Federal law (not ICWA) requires kiddos who go into foster care to stay in the same school system, and yet:

When children are taken from their parents and placed in foster care, or when they change foster homes, caseworkers are required to convene a “best-interest determination” to decide whether the child should switch schools or stay put. The meeting includes teachers and school staff, parents, and in some cases, the child.

According to a state data sample of children who changed schools, that meeting happened before the school switch just 11 percent of the time in Colorado last year. More often than not, the meeting happened after the student had already transferred or didn’t happen at all.

Emphasis added. And this is in a state where the legislature ALLOCATED FUNDING for this federal requirement. To bring it into the ICWA world, while required by a separate federal law, I might still consider it active efforts to keep a kiddo in the same school district. It’s also just confounding to me the number of things required by both state and federal law that just simply do not happen in these cases (just in case you wondered what has Kate Fort cranky today. Also, this report which should be a totally different post about parents and active efforts and incarceration).