Student Success and Wellness Bureau Foster Education Program
Vision: To provide educational stability for New Mexico students in foster care.
Mission: To provide a system of collaboration and communication amongst New Mexico’s state education agency, child welfare agency and schools to assist students in foster care with succeeding in school and extra-curricular activities by reducing the number of educational disruptions while increasing school stability.
What does foster care mean?
Foster care means 24-hour substitute care for children who are placed away from their parents or guardians and who are in the custody of state and tribal child welfare agencies. In New Mexico, the Children Youth and Families Department (CYFD) is the state child welfare agency (CWA). Because the majority of foster care custody affecting LEAs are under CYFD jurisdiction, this document refers primarily to CYFD as the CWA. CYFD maintains contact with tribal child welfare agencies. Foster placements include, but are not limited to, foster family homes, foster homes of relatives, group homes, residential facilities, emergency shelters and pre-adoptive homes. A student is in foster care in accordance with this definition regardless of whether the foster care facility is licensed and payments are made by the state, tribal or a local agency for the care of the student, whether adoption subsidy payments are being made prior to the finalization of an adoption or whether there is federal matching of any payments that are made. As per changes to the McKinney-Vento act, children awaiting foster care placement are no longer defined as children experiencing homelessness.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires that each school district appoint a foster care Point of Contact (POC).
Throughout the year, the NM PED is required to update the POC list. Whenever there is a change in POC, please complete Local Education Agency Point of Contact Change Form and return to the NM PED.