Schools can dramatically improve education outcomes – and thus life outcomes – for children in the child welfare system. While students in foster care often struggle educationally, they can excel in school when they receive the right support.

Juvenile Law Center and Education Law Center of Pennsylvania have developed a set of tools to help educators and administrators understand the issues youth in the foster care system face, and to identify simple interventions that can make a difference helping youth in care succeed in school. The tools can be downloaded from the Juvenile Law Center’s website at  or the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council’s website at :

  • TOOL 1: Meeting the Educational Needs of Students in the Child Welfare System: A Tool for Educators
    This tool can be used by an individual classroom teacher, or throughout the school. The tool is designed to help teachers better understand the unique situation of youth in the child welfare system and to identify simple steps they can take to support a child’s success.
  • TOOL 2: Meeting the Educational Needs of Students in the Child Welfare System: A Tool for School Administrators and Counseling Staff
    This tool helps administrators to ask the right questions and to put in place simple systems to address the needs of youth in care. It provides an analysis of relevant federal and Pennsylvania law to assist administrators in ensuring that they are providing youth with the support to which they are legally entitled.

Professional Development

To help districts and schools develop system-wide strategies to improve educational outcomes for students in care, Juvenile Law Center is available to provide free training to groups of educators in a district or within a school on “Meeting the Educational Needs of Students in Child Welfare.” For more information or to schedule training please contact Jessica Feierman at or 215-625-0551.

This project is supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council.