Foster Youth Services
Foster Youth Services
The mission of our Foster Youth Services Coordination Program (FYSCP) is to support the county's approximately 350 youth living in foster care to access their education and attain their educational goals. This support takes the form of collaboration with students and families, school and district staff, and other county agencies in order to remove barriers to educational access and expand educational opportunities.
In partnership with all of the agencies serving youth in the foster care system, the role of FYSCP is to provide resources and support to school staff and families in order to create a bridge that will help students succeed.
For general questions about the Sonoma County Office of Education Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program or education rights of youth in foster care, please contact:
Debra Sanders, Ed.D.
Foster and Homeless Youth Education Services Coordinator
Sonoma County Office of Education
Tutor Me Education: 24/7 Face-To-Face Tutoring with Handpicked Tutors
All SCOE students can connect with expert tutors by scheduling virtual sessions through Tutor Me Education!
We are excited to share that SCOE has partnered with Tutor Me Education for all K-12th promise youth. TM-Education is a platform where students have access to expert online tutors. Unlike other platforms, TM-Education provides tailored face-to-face tutoring with a live tutor using audio and video (just like zoom, but with an interactive whiteboard!). With TM-Education, students can request assistance in any of their rostered classes or schedule on-going tailored tutoring sessions. Teachers will have access to how students use TM-Education by referring students, reviewing custom metrics, and more. If you are a K-12th promise youth student in SCOE, check out Tutor Me Education today!
To schedule a session: Simply complete the forms below.
Once teachers or parents complete the following sign-up form, one of our educational directors will contact them to understand their needs in more detail, provide a pre-assessment (if needed), and match the student with a tutor.
State Increases Financial Aid Available to Foster Youth Attending CSUs, UCs, and CCCs for 2023-24
The 2023/2024 budget bill included increased funding for financial aid for foster youth across all three public postsecondary systems. Language governing this funding was included in SB 117, the higher education budget trailer bill. Here is a breakdown of the changes adopted as part of SB 117.
- Middle Class Scholarship (MCS): The MCS provides low- to middle-income undergraduate students, including students pursuing a teaching credential, with a scholarship if they are enrolled in a UC or CSU, or enrolled in a bachelor’s program at a California Community College. Individual award amounts are based on the Cost of Attendance (COA) set by each college and vary by college and by student. For independent non-foster youth students, the MCS provides roughly 24% of the remaining unmet need after accounting for other federal, state, and institutionally administered grants, scholarships, and fee waivers and a “self-help” student contribution of $7,898. SB 117 requires that 100% of the remaining COA is covered for current and former foster youth, after accounting for the “self-help” student contribution of $7,898 and any other federal, state, and institutionally administered grants, scholarships, and fee waivers. In addition to resources from work and/or savings, private scholarships and institutionally awarded emergency housing funds or emergency basic needs assistance is counted toward the “self-help” student contribution. It is up to each institution to determine and classify which funds count as emergency housing funds or emergency basic needs assistance. This can include funding provided by a campus-based foster youth support program for emergency housing needs or emergency basic needs.
- Student Success Completion Grant (SSCG): The SSCG is administered by the California Community Colleges (CCC) and provides a grant to students who meet certain eligibility criteria and are enrolled in 12 or more units. Non-foster students receive $1,298 per semester if enrolled in 12-14 units and $4,000 per semester if enrolled in 15 units. SB 117 increased the grant amount for current and former foster youth enrolled in 12 or more units to $5,250 per semester.
For both programs, current and former foster youth are defined as those whose dependency was established or continued on or after the age of 13. The funding goes into effect starting in the 2023-24 academic school year. The exact timing of funding disbursement is not yet known, but it is anticipated that awards will be made by the end of the fall term.
Foster Youth Data
Foster youth data on enrollment, test performance, and more is available at the California Department of Education's Dataquest website.
Family Urgent Response System (FURS)
The California Department of Social Services recently released All County Letter (ACL) 23-01 which provides information about recent expansions to the eligibility criteria for receiving services from the Family Urgent Response System (FURS), a free all hours access hotline for current or former foster youth and their caregivers to call and get immediate help for any big or small issues. The expanded definition includes children and youth being cared for in a Voluntary Placement Agreement.
Senate Bill (SB) 1090 (Chapter 833, Statutes of 2022), effective January 1, 2023, expands the definition of “current or former foster child or youth” for the purposes of accessing FURS to include: a child or youth who is the subject of a Voluntary Placement Agreement as defined in subdivision (p) of Section 11400, a child or youth who is placed in foster care and is the subject of a petition filed pursuant to Section 300, and a child or youth placed in California pursuant to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. These youth remain eligible to receive services through FURS until age 21 even if they have exited foster care for any reason, including, but not limited to, reunification, guardianship, adoption, emancipation or transferring to tribal jurisdiction.
FURS is a coordinated statewide, regional, and county-level system designed to provide collaborative and timely state-level phone-based response and county-level in-home, in-person mobile response during situations of instability, to preserve the relationship of the caregiver and the child or youth.
FURS services, available by calling (833) 939-3877, include:
- A toll-free hotline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week staffed with caring counselors trained in conflict resolution and de-escalation techniques for children and youth impacted by trauma.
- County Mobile Response and Stabilization Teams also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- In-home de-escalation, stabilization, conflict resolution, and support services and resources.
- Ongoing support services beyond the initial mobile response.
- Hotline and mobile response staff trained in working with children and families who have experienced trauma.
Contact the Permanency Services and Support Unit for questions or comments at (916) 657-1858 or at FURS@dss.ca.gov.
- Kinship Care: Resources for kinship families and service providers, in partnership with United Way
- 2023 California Foster Youth Education Law Fact Sheets
- Foster Youth Education Rights - Fact Sheet
- Minor Consent to Medical Care
- Foster Youth Education Planning Guide, developed by California College Pathways.
By removing barriers that occur due to frequent changes in home placement, this program helps ensure that foster youth can benefit from uninterrupted educational access. Specific goals are to:
- Reach out to foster youth and their families and provide education-related support, such as helping them make contact with school districts and access educational resources.
- Coordinate, support, and expand foster youth tutoring programs.
- Strengthen relationships with partner agencies serving foster youth, including county departments, VOICES Sonoma, and Santa Rosa Junior College.
- Implement the Foster Focus software, which allows for the transfer of student information to expedite school enrollment.
School District Liaisons
District Foster Youth Education Liaisons support foster youth in their districts by:
- Facilitating immediate enrollment in school
- Ensuring the timely transfer of education records when a foster youth changes school placements
- Supporting academic achievement
- Encouraging school attendance and reducing truancy and drop-out rates
- Reducing incidents of student discipline problems and juvenile delinquency
- Communicating with foster youth and appropriate supporting individuals such as foster parents, education rights holders, social workers, and CASA in order to provide coordinated support to foster youth.
- Ensuring that foster youth receive the appropriate safeguards under: AB 490 (School Stability and Timely Transfer of Records) and AB 167 (High School Graduation Requirements)
|Alexander Valley Union||Matt Reno, Superintendentfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Bellevue Union||Tracy Whitaker, Director Student Svcs||707-542-5197 email@example.com|
|Bennett Valley Union||Lexie Cala, Superintendent||707-542-2201 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Cinnabar||Ken Silman Superintendent/Principalemail@example.com|
|Cloverdale Unified||Stephanie Alexander, Director Student Svcs and Special Edfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified||Matt Marshall, Director of Student Services||(707) 792-4540||Matthew_Marshall@crpusd.org|
|Dunham||Daniel Hoffman, Superintendent/Principalemail@example.com|
|Forestville Union||Matthew Dunkle, Superintendent/Principalfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Fort Ross||Jennifer Dudley, Superintendentemail@example.com|
|Geyserville Unified||Deborah Bertolucci, Superintendentfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Gravenstein Union||Dave Rose, Superintendent||707-823-7008 email@example.com|
|Guerneville||Joelene Morasch, Superintendent||707-869-2864 x116||jmoraschguernevilleschool.org|
|Harmony Union||Matthew Morgan, Superintendent/Principal||707-874-1205 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Healdsburg||Diane Conger, Director Student Svcsemail@example.com|
|Horicon||Jeff McFarland, Supe/Principalfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Kashia||Frances Johnson, Administratoremail@example.com|
|Kenwood||Nathan Myers, Superintendentfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Liberty||Chris Rafanelli, Superintendentemail@example.com|
|Mark West Union||Lisa Warne, Asst. Supe Ed. Svcsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Monte Rio Union||Edward Navarro, Superintendent/Principalemail@example.com|
|Montgomery||Laurie Mason, Superintendent/Principalfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Oak Grove Union||Amber Stringfellow, Superintendentemail@example.com|
|Old Adobe Union||Cindy Kerr Friberg, Director Student Svcsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Petaluma City||Maite Iturri, Assistant Superintendent Student Servicesemail@example.com|
|Piner-Olivet Union||Tami Pallingston, Director, Student Servicesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rincon Valley Union||Cathy Myhers, Assistant Superintendent of Student Servicesemail@example.com|
|Roseland||Dr Wendy Castaneda-Leal, Dir. Whole Child Dev.||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Santa Rosa City||Kathleen Frye, Director of State & Federal Programsemail@example.com|
|Sebastopol Union||Linda Irving, Superintendentfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sonoma Valley Unified||Jillian Beall, Director, Education Servicesemail@example.com|
|Twin Hills Union||Anna-Maria Guzman Superintendentfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Two Rock Union||Stephen Owens, Superintendentemail@example.com|
|Waugh||Michael Gardner, Superintendentfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|West Side Union||Rima Meechan, Administration||707-433-3923 email@example.com|
|West Sonoma County Union High||Laura Schmitt, Director - Special Educationfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Wilmar Union||Stephen Hospodar, Supe/Principalemail@example.com|
|Windsor Unified||Allison Griggs, Program Coordinatorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Wright||Teresa Raef, ELOP & Special Projects Coordinatoremail@example.com|