Foster Care

Schools, child welfare agencies, communities, and families must work together to provide the equitable opportunities, specialized services, and useful supports that are essential for students in foster care to be successful in school and in life.

The Foster Care Program supports students in foster care by encouraging educational stability, reducing disruptions, and improve academic performance.

As part of the Student Support division, the Foster Care Education Program partners with educators, foster parents, social workers, state agencies, and advocates as they work to support the whole child through evidence-based, best-practices and collaboration.

Who's Eligible?

Any student in foster care.

“Foster care” means twenty-four hours per day temporary, substitute care for the child placed away from the child’s parents or guardians, and for whom DSHS or a licensed or certified child placing agency has placement and care responsibility. This includes any out-of-home care (including a relative or suitable person), so long as the child is under the placement and care responsibility of DSHS, and placed in out-of-home care by DSHS.

Eligible Students’ Rights

  • Attend school in the attendance area where they are currently living
  • When in the best interest of the child, attend the school of origin (the school they attended at the time they entered care), or the school in which they were last enrolled
  • Immediate enrollment and support from district Foster Care Liaison in obtaining school records and coordinating services
  • Receive transportation to their school, if necessary
  • Free school meals
  • Receive Title I or comparable services focusing on academic assistance as needed
  • Services for English Language Learners, Special Education, and/or Gifted Education
  • Support with on-time grade progression and graduation of students


Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction Foster Care Program
State of Washington Foster Care Education Program

Foster Care Graduation Success & Educational Advocacy Program

Wishing Well Foundation
Provides clothing, supplies and experiences for children and teens in Foster Care

Becoming a Foster Parent
Washington DCYS information and resources

Catholic Community Services
Community outreach organization that provides a number of services for children and families

Fostering Together
Support groups, trainings and information sharing for foster parents and potential foster parents

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services links to Children and Youth Services

Childhelp Hotline
24 hour child abuse hotline