The BCPS Foster Care Program oversees and ensures educational needs compliance (per ESSA) of current or newly registered students ages 3-18+, who have been removed from the care of their parent(s) or legal guardian by the court system due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment and placed with a relative, non-relative, in a traditional foster home, group home, shelter, or other licensed/non-licensed home placement.
Nandranie Busjit-Bhalai, Supervisor, serves as the Point of Contact (POC) for Broward County Public Schools.
Every Student Succeeds Act Requirements
- Current students, once identified, remain in their schools unless a School Stability Staffing determines that is not in the student’s best interest to remain at the registered school.
- Transportation, per SBBC policy, is provided to ensure that the student remains in the current school.
- When it is not in a student’s best interest to remain at the registered school, even if unable to produce records normally required for enrollment, the student is IMMEDIATELY enrolled in the new school.
- The new school immediately contacts the school last attended to obtain relevant academic and other records.
In addition to overseeing educational compliance, this office serves as the point of contact for schools/central office departments, child welfare agencies, courts, and other agencies related to students who are identified as foster care youth.
- Supporting the stabilization of the child in school to ensure continuing academic instruction, achievement, and social emotional needs.
- Guiding and advocating for secondary level students so that graduation from high school and readiness for post-secondary education and/or vocational training is attainable.
- Monitors dependency shelter hearings daily, attends review hearings as needed, and reports to respective school-based personnel (Foster Care Designee) to ensure safety and security in education continuity.
- Coordinates Transportation, Free Lunch, and school registration and withdrawals for foster care youth.
- Provides technical assistance and training to schools and agencies related to educational advocacy for foster care youth.
- Oversees the Interagency Agreement with Department of Children and Family (DCF), ChildNet (Broward’s child welfare agency), Career Source Broward (CSB), Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) - Area 10, Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) - Circuit 17, Broward Behavioral Health Coalition (BBHC).
Facts About Foster Care
- On any given day, there are nearly 437,000 children in foster care in the United States.
- In 2018, nearly 690,000 children spent time in U.S. foster care.
- On average, children remain in state care for nearly two years and six percent of children in foster care have languished there for five or more years.
- Despite the common perception that the majority of children in foster care are very young, the average age of kids entering care is 8.
- In 2018, one third of children entering U.S. foster care were young people of color.
- While most children in foster care live in family settings, a substantial minority — 10 percent — live in institutions or group homes.
- In 2018, more than 71,000 children – whose mothers’ and fathers’ parental rights had been legally terminated – were waiting to be adopted.
- In 2018, more than 17,000 young people aged out of foster care without permanent families. Research has shown that those who leave care without being linked to forever families have a higher likelihood than youth in the general population to experience homelessness, unemployment and incarceration as adults.
Foster Care Contact Information:
To contact the Foster Care Office, please contact us at: email@example.com or call 754-321-1565
Supervisor, Foster Care Program/Courts Liaison
Guidance Director for Abused, Neglected and Abandoned Youth