District Procedure for Students in Foster Care:
New requirements in ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) require that schools and districts ensure the educational stability of children in Foster Care. The State Department of Education requires each district to name a Foster Care Liaison. In Bamberg County School District, the Liaison is Phyllis A. Overstreet. The following outlines what should happen when a district student is taken into foster care (in direct custody of the Department of Social Services) and may need to move to another district, or if a DSS Caseworker or Foster Parent attempts to enroll a Foster Child from another district.
Best Interest Determination: This process begins once a district student is placed in DSS custody. While it is the responsibility of DSS to notify the district Foster Care Liaison to initiate the BID process, this does not always happen. School personnel should contact the district Foster Care Liaison immediately if they are contacted directly by DSS to enroll a student. Per the guidance provided by the state, the district (meaning the Foster Care Liaison) leads the BID process, with DSS and other mandated parties participating, including the student, if appropriate.
Immediate Enrollment: Once a BID is made that it is not in the child’s best interest to remain in their school of origin, that student is to be immediately enrolled in the receiving school. The DSS caseworker and/or the Foster Parent is required to provide the completed Immediate Enrollment Form for the child to be enrolled. A copy of the Best Interest Determination form should also be provided, but can provided at a later date.
Transportation: Transportation, if necessary, will be a cooperative agreement between the district and DSS, negotiated by the district liaison and the DSS representative.
Powerschool: Upon enrollment of a foster child, be sure to mark ‘Yes’ in the appropriate field in Powerschool. This is found on the South Carolina Student Information page. Additionally, if a foster child is enrolled from another district, please notify the district Powerschool adminstrator immediately due to student funding requirements.