Fostering Connections to Success Act

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Issue: Fostering Connections to Success Act


The legislation provides states with options to extend foster care coverage for certain children and impacts the processing of child abuse and neglect cases.


The Conference of State Court Administrators supported passage of the Uninterrupted Scholars Act. (COSCA Resolution 12-M-3).


The following are highlights of Public Law 110-351:

  • Allows Title IV-E funds to be used for relative guardianship assistance payments;

  • Creates Family Connection for (1) kinship navigator programs, (2) intensive family-finding efforts, (3) family group decision-making meetings, and (4) residential family treatment programs;
  • Requires states to exercise due diligence to identify and provide notice to all grandparents and other adult relatives within 30 days after the removal of a child from a parent unless there is an issue of domestic violence;
  • Allows states the option of extending foster care maintenance, adoption assistance, and relative guardianship assistance payments to children aged 18, 19, 20, or 21;
  • Requires states to assist a child  aging-out of foster care to develop a transition plan;
  • Allows states to be reimbursed for short-term training provided to relative guardians, private child welfare agencies, court staff, agency attorneys, attorneys representing children or parents, guardians ad litem, court appointed special advocates;
  • Requires states to address education stability in each child’s case plan;
  • Requires states to develop a plan for on-going oversight and coordination of health care services for any child in foster care; and
  • Requires states to make reasonable efforts to (1) place siblings in the same foster care placement and, (2) in cases where the siblings are placed together, to provide for frequent visitation or on-going interaction between the siblings.

  • Status:

    The Fostering Connections to Success Act (HR 6307) was introduced by Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA on 6/19/08 and approved by the House on 6/24/08.  The House and Senate negotiated a compromise bill (HR 6893), which the President signed on 10/7/08, making it Public Law 100-351.

    On 7/9/10, the Children’s Bureau issued a Program Instruction (ACYF-CB-PI-10-11) to provide states with guidance on implementation of Public Law 110-351

    The 112th Congress approved the Uninterrupted Scholars Act (S 3472), which will facilitate education stability for children in the foster care system.  The bill amended the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA, P.L. 93-380) to allow child welfare agencies access to educational records in a timely fashion to ensure children in their care are immediately enrolled in school and receive the support and interventions they need for educational success.  The Uninterrupted Scholars Act also eliminated the need for duplicative notice to parents and the resulting delays in transferring students’ educational records.  Prior  FERPA provisions required that when a court ordered release of a child’s education records that the parents be notified by the educational agency as well as through the court proceeding.  The Act eliminated the need for the education agency to notify the parent again when the parent is already a party to the court proceeding where the order about the records was issued. This will expedite child welfare agencies’ receipt of educational records.  The President signed the bill on 1/14/13.