Sonoma County Office of Education

Foster Youth Services

Legislative Policies

California Foster Care Education Law Factsheet
California Foster Care Education Law Fact Sheets, Fifth Edition (pdf) is produced by the California Foster Youth Education Task Force. It provides information related to legislation and education issues impacting students in the foster care system. Topics include:

  • Assembly Bill 490: School Stability and Timely Transfer of Records
  • Education Rights
  • Assembly Bill 167: Graduation Requirements
  • Early Care and Education
  • Education Services for Transition Age Youth
  • Special Education
  • School Discipline

NEW! These documents are available as of the fall, 2016:
Foster Youth Guidance document (PDF)
Foster Youth Guidance press release (PDF)

School Discipline Notices for Foster Youth (AB 1909)
The California Foster Youth Education Task Force shares template letters that attorneys, educational rights holders, and child welfare agency representatives can use to request school discipline-related notices for foster children. These templates support the requirements of AB 1909, which became effective on January 1, 2013. The intent of the law is to decrease disproportionate use of school discipline against foster children and youth.

School Placement for Foster Youth (AB 490)
In accordance with Assembly Bill 490, Sonoma County has established procedures and forms to ensure that students in foster care obtain stable and appropriate school placements. Local educators, county agencies, and community organizations met for more than two years to develop these processes and tools, which are specified in the AB 490 Agreement for Foster Youth Placement (pdf).

Uninterrupted Scholars Act (USA)
The Uninterrupted Scholars Act makes it easier for case workers to gain access to school records and allows them to disclose the information for the limited purpose of assisting a child in obtaining the educational services he or she needs. The USA Act strikes a balance, allowing schools to share information in a targeted way with child welfare agencies, while still protecting family rights and student confidentiality.

Case workers need immediate access to education information to help foster youth succeed in school. Before the passage of the USA Act, students often suffered from delays while child welfare workers tried to access school records. The USA Act makes it easier for the child welfare agency to get the education records that will tell them when a youth is struggling in school, so case workers can collaborate with educators to figure out what the child needs.

Sonoma County Standing Orders:
Release/Sharing of Education Records (pdf)
Release/Sharing of Mental and Health Records (pdf)