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Child Welfare for Educators Toolkit

Students with experience in foster care have unique needs and challenges, and no two people are alike.

Educators and Educational staff have an opportunity to provide increased stability and support to students so that they can meet their goals. This toolkit provides educators with a number of useful resources and tips to use when working with students from foster care.

Please be sure to follow the links throughout this toolkit!

Four Quick Tips to make your work with students with experience in foster care a SUCCESS!

  1. Use inclusive Language. Instead of using phrases like "foster kid", say "student with experience in foster care". We hear from students that this helps them recognize that foster care is only part of who they are, and not their defining characteristic.
  2. Reduce the stigma of foster care. One of the best things educators can do for students with experience in foster care is to learn about what foster care actually is, and how it effects students. This guide, Getting to know...Students from foster care is a great introduction to common challanges experienced by students.
  3. Know what professionals in your area can provide additional support. There are a number of resources available to students from foster care, and because educators and counselors see students frequently, they have the opportunity to streamline a student's access to resources by knowing who in their communities provide what services. You can search for professionals in your area by clicking here.
  4. Learn about what you can do in the classroom to support students. Getting to know...Child Welfare for Educators is an excellent introduction to how the child welfare system works, and what you can do in your classrooms and schools to provide encouragement to students with experience in foster care.


Higher Education Support Efforts in Michigan provide a range of resources and support to students who have experienced foster care. Based at colleges, universities, and community colleges across Michigan, these efforts offer a variety of scholarships, mentoring, social activities, life skills training, educational support, and more. To learn about what each campus has to offer, read Getting to know...Higher Education Resources for Students from Foster Care. 

Explore TRIO Programs. There are 8 TRIO programs aimed at making educational opportunities possible for all students regardless of their race, class or gender. Today, these programs offer support services to low-income and/or first generation college students in their quest for post secondary education. In 2008, the Higher Education Act makes homeless children and youth, or youth in foster care (including youth who have left foster care after reaching age 13), automatically eligible for TRIO programs. Learn more here!

Financial Resources are available for costs related to technical schools, community colleges, colleges and universities. Educators can help students navigate this often intimidating process. Click on the links below for eligibility information and how to apply.


Help students understand their rights.

The Uninterrupted Scholars Act - Recent changes to FERPA have made it possible for Child Welfare Professionals to access school records, which provide valuable information that informs placement recommendations. When child welfare professionals and educators share information, they can work together to lessen educational barriers.

McKinney Vinto and Fostering Connections Acts - These acts ensure that students in or awaiting placement in foster care have the right to remain in their school, and that transportation will be provided, regardless where the child is placed. Educators can click here to read about how collaboration between schools and the child welfare system can support school stability.


Educational Resources for Students NOT eligble for ETV

Your donations help make a difference

Fostering Success Michigan is a program of Educate Tomorrow that aims to increase access and success in higher education and post-college careers for youth with experience in foster care. Learn how you can contribute to building a holistic network that insulates (i.e., strengthens protective factors and reduces risks) the education to career "pipeline." 

Make a Donation