Back to School: Foster Youth in Schools

Back to School: Foster Youth in Schools

We know that back-to-school time can be both exciting and stressful for all students. Foster youth, especially, may have changed schools many times, missed lots of days, or fallen behind in schoolwork. Foster parents sometimes ask us if there are extra supports specifically for their kids. This week we wanted to tell you about the The California Department of Education’s (CDE) Foster Youth Services (FYS) programs. They provide supports to foster children and are designed to improve the child’s performance in school and the achievement of personal, educational and vocational goals.

From the CDE website:

“FYS programs have the ability and authority to ensure that health and school records are obtained to establish appropriate placements and coordinate instruction, counseling, tutoring, mentoring, vocational training, emancipation services, training for independent living, and other related services. FYS programs increase the stability of placements for foster children and youth.” Accessed 8/11/15

Liz Guillen, the Education Programs Consultant for FYS at CDE reports that, with a few exceptions, each county has an FYS program. These programs offer services that vary widely between counties because the community needs are different, and the services are tailored to fit the needs of each community. For example, how a student would access tutoring in a rural school district might look different in an urban school district. Guillen also says that FYS programs are in the middle of a drastic overhaul due to changes in how school districts are funding auxiliary programs. There is legislation pending that may take effect very soon which could change the specific services offered. So, while this information is relevant today, how your children access FYS programs next school year may be quite different.

The important thing to know is that ALL districts MUST have a staff person assigned to be the liaison for foster youth. This is a legal requirement. Additionally, some districts have also historically received funding to provide additional special services to foster youth. Your district’s FYS Liaison will have the most up-to-date information about accessing services. We have listed the Liaison’s for the main counties we serve, as this is the best way to help your child get directly connected to the available services in your district. We have also included the website to get the list for all FYS Liaison’s if your child is outside Nevada, Placer, or Sacramento County.

Nevada County:

Melissa Marcum, Coordinator, FYS Liaison
(530) 470-8510 ext. 202


Placer County:

Craig Gibbs, Placer County of Education FYS Liaison
(530) 745-1302


Sacramento County:

There are three districts with their own FYS liaison: Sacramento City, Elk Grove and San Juan.

Aliya Holmes, Sacramento City Unified School District FYS Liaison
(916) 643-9409


Kim Parker, Elk Grove Unified School District FYS Liaison


Dominic Covello, San Juan Unified School District FYS Liaison


If you are in Sacramento County but your children do not attend school in the 3 districts above, the Sacramento County Office of Education programs currently operate to address specific segments of the population not covered by SCUSD, EGUSD and SJUSD.


Virginia D’Amico, Coordinator, Sacramento County Office of Education FYS Liaison
(916) 228-2746



For additional information about Liaison’s in other counties, you can find that information here:


For additional information about FYS please visit the CDE’s website:


Happy Back-to-School Month!

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