Child Welfare Ideas From the Experts, #10: Preventing Misuse of Special Education

The Chronicle of Social Change is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 11 former foster youths who completed Congressional internships. The program is overseen each summer by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, with support from the Sara Start Fund.

Each of the FYI participants crafted a carefully researched policy recommendation during their time in Washington. Today, we highlight the recommendation of Ta’Kijah Randolph, 22, a senior at California State University and one of seven siblings to be taken into foster care.

The Proposal

Address the high rate of foster youth entering special education through three actions:

  • Requiring advocates for foster children to be trained to help screen and refer foster children for mental health and behavioral needs
  • Amend individualized education programs (IEPs) for foster children to include plans aimed at addressing mental health, emotional and behavioral needs
  • Mandate biannual assessments of IEPs for foster youths

Read more:


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