Children in foster care experience many losses: the loss of loved ones, of caregivers, of home, and of family. Preserving continuity in their educational setting can give these children a touchstone in an otherwise turbulent life, while helping them achieve greater success in later life.
Children in foster care suffer gaps in educational achievement that have lasting impact: delayed graduation, higher drop-out rates, lower test scores, and poorer grades. 17% move schools three or more times during their first year in foster care; when we factor in instability at home, mental health issues such as PTSD brought on by early childhood trauma, or even something as commonplace as lost transcripts, we have a situation hardly conducive to scholarly success.
California State Assembly Bill 337 (2019-2020—Foster care payments: reasonable travel reimbursement for school) would amend the existing Welfare and Institutions Code so that new caregivers would be quickly notified of eligibility—and subsequently issued timely payments—for reasonable costs for children’s transportation to their present school.
Walden supports this legislation as a small step toward providing stability in the lives of our most vulnerable children. Read more here and please join us in urging your legislators to support AB 337.