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Educational Support

Children who are involved within the foster care system experience a higher number of school transitions, lower academic achievement, heightened experiences of exclusionary school discipline, higher drop out rates, and decreased access to postsecondary education. 

Educational resources are available to support youth and their families as they face academic challenges. Need more assistance? Complete the contact form below and a team member will reach out to you!

DFPS Educational Specialists

 Each DFPS Region has a dedicated staff member who serves as an education consultant and provides assistance to DFPS staff, school staff, and external stakeholders regarding education issues related to children and youth in foster care.

Region 6A (Harris)

Felicia Bennet-Chambers

Region 6B (Surrounding Counties)

Jennifer Heimbach

Foster Care Liaisons

Every school district and open-enrollment charter school in the state of Texas is required to appoint at least one employee to act as a Foster Care Liaison. This person may facilitate enrollment or school transfers, advocate for the educational needs of students in foster care, or ensure the implementation of required supports and best-practice strategies to promote learning. 

For more information about Foster Care Liaisons, click here.  

Education/Job Readiness Programs

Programs are most helpful when youth have access to safe, loving relationships that empower them and provide ongoing support. Some youth have foster, kinship, or adoptive families to help them navigate these resources, but many, unfortunately, do not. Mentors can provide additional support and guidance for youth as they navigate the complexity of these resources. For more information about organizations that provide mentors for youth in foster care, fill out the contact form below. 

The Bread of Life Academy is a branch of the Bread of Life organization designed to give educational opportunity to underserved Houstonians looking to gain skills that will make them more employable in the workforce. Programs include Quest Phlebotomy Course, Cisco Networking Training Course, and Community Health Worker Training Course. 

Eight Million Stories (8MS) transforms the lives of Houston’s at-promise youth through education and empowerment. 8MS programs serve as an alternative education model to help meet at-risk youth where they are in life by providing education services, career and mental/emotional health support, and mentorship opportunities.

The Hay Center empowers current and former foster youth to be successful, productive adults through training & mentoring in education, employment, and personal achievement. Resources provided through the HAY Center include Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) Life Skills training, independent living planning and support, after care services, voucher referrals and assistance, and more. 

A list of Hay Center staff members specific to each type of service provided can be found here

LaLaLand is a cafe with a purpose of hiring and mentoring foster youth and normalizing kindness. They provide an 8-week internship that teaches youth soft skills such as effective communication, professionalism, and accountability. Upon completion of the internship, youth are able to apply for full or part-time positions within the company (must be 18 years or older to apply).

NextGen is a FREE program for young adults ages 16-24. Youth can earn their GED while earning work-ready certifications, gaining on-the-job experience with internships, connecting with a career coach to find college scholarships and strengthening their leadership skills. 

Petra Cares is a 7-week program designed to train youth aging our of foster care to be Mechanical Technicians. Upon completed of the program, students receive a Level 1 Lube tech certificate, as well as two college credits. Student are then connected to employers and jobs that will lead to a rewarding career in the automotive industry. While participating in the program, student receive a weekly stipend, free transportation, and meals. For more information visit their website at the link below or reach out to Brian Meza at

Additional Resources

The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (Fostering Connections) is a federal law that includes important improvements for children and youth who are in foster care or are at risk of entering foster care. This document reviews the provisions that impact youth and young adults. See Section 9 (page 44) for provisions specifically related to education.

This document explains expectations regarding the PEIMS foster care indicator code and acceptable supporting documentation. 

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was passed in 2015. It is the most recent version of the federal Elementary and Secondary Educational law, and it places new emphasis on the unique educational needs of children in foster care. This document provides an overview of foster care provisions and requirements. 

A student is entitled to remain at their school or origin unless it is not in the student’s best interest. This document provides guidance on School of Origin definition, timeliness that apply, and who determines best interest.

This e-guide from DFPS, the Supreme Court of Texas, and the Children’s Commission, contains key research-based topics and calls attention to important matters pertaining to the education of students in foster care. It contains tips, tools, resources and links to more information.

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May is National Foster Care Month

The Riverside Project is raising $75,000 this month. Help us transform the foster care system in Houston!