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  • It Took Almost Two Years, but NYC Schools Now Provide Educational Support for Students in Foster Care

    Sep 25, 2023

    Mott Haven Academy in the Bronx is a unique school for foster youth. Its directors hope New York City’s new office supporting students in the child welfare system will provide similar services.
    MacKenna Lewis.

    The Imprint | Erika Palmer, supervising attorney at the nonprofit Advocates for Children, praised the creation of such a “helpful resource,” noting its significance given that the city may soon institute hiring freezes and make across-the-board budget cuts to its agencies.

    “I’m very excited that they’re there,” Palmer said. “The office has done a lot of work introducing themselves to schools and to superintendents so that they know they exist, and know that they’re there to reach out and provide support.”

    Palmer expects reliable transportation to be one of the most pressing challenges over the next school year — another issue she said should be at the top of the list for the new foster-youth-serving office.

    Though students removed from their homes and taken into foster care have the right to remain in their original schools, making that happen can be tricky for foster parents and agencies instructed to maintain attendance at their “schools of origin.”

    With so many foster youth relying on public transportation to get to school, “it can take literally weeks, if not more than a month, to get a new school bus route,” Palmer said.

    Going forward, the new office is expected to help sort out these and other challenges for students in foster care.

    “We just hope that they continue to grow and expand their influence,” Palmer said, “and that more people within the Department of Education and in schools know about them and know to turn to them with questions.” Read article