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Office of Well Being: School Enrollment Process

Exterior front of school

School Enrollment Tip Sheet for Children in Foster Care

Q: What do I have to do to ensure a child is enrolled by the first day of school?

A: The following steps must be completed for every CFSA-involved client in foster care before the school year begins:

  1. Update the education screens in FACES so that the client is only listed as attending the school in which s/he will be enrolled (All other school listings should be end-dated (i.e., promoted, graduated, unknown, etc.) NOTE: If the child is enrolling in a school outside of the District of Columbia, the form must be accompanied by copies of the additional documentation required by that school district, as outlined on the chart below. (See Directions
  2. Complete and submit the CFSA Education Information Form to the Office of Well Being (OWB).
  3. Ensure the resource parent or placement provider completes and physically submits the required enrollment paperwork to enroll a child in school. Provide assistance as needed. 
  4. If the student is enrolling in a new school, physically withdraw the client from the last school attended and request a transfer of records to the new school. 

Q: What do I have to do with respect to education when a child first comes into care?

A: The CFSA Education Information Form must be completed for any new child that comes into care and is placed on your caseload, so that the Office of Well Being has accurate information on the child's educational status whenever a child first comes into care. (See Directions)

Q: What do I need to do if a child is enrolling in a school located outside of the District of Columbia?

A: Social workers need to submit some additional documentation from the case file to the Office of Well Being in order for CFSA to enroll and pay the cost of tuition for foster children to attend schools located outside of the District of Columbia. The type and number of documents required depends upon the type of school and the jurisdiction in which the client is enrolling. 

Please see the tips below and table below for guidance:

  • The CFSA Education Information Form, a copy of the most recent court order and a ward letter is required for most schools, regardless of the type of school or the jurisdiction. 
  • A copy of the court order if any person other than the birth parent is designated as the Education Decision Maker. 
  • Some jurisdictions in Maryland and Virginia may require additional documents like a copy of the child's birth certificate. 
  • If the client receives special education services, a copy of the current IEP should also be provided to the school. 
Jurisdictions* Student Information Form Most Recent Court Order Tuition Contract

Education Decision Maker Court Order (if applicable)

Birth Certificate Ward Letter Other
Anne Arundel County X   X X   X  
Baltimore City X X X X X X Immunization Record
Baltimore County X   X X   X  
Charter Schools X X X X X X  
Charles County X X X   X X Immunization Record IEP (If applicable)
District of Columbia (DCPS) X     X      
Fairfax County X     X   X 1. Request to Enroll Nonresident Student Placed in Foster Home By Government Agency or the Court Form 
2. Immediate Enrollment of Child in Foster Care Form 
3. Home Language Survey 
4. Student Registration Summary of Education Experiences (new students only)
Howard County X X X X X X 1. Tuition Authorization Form out of State Placement
2. IEP (if applicable)
Montgomery County X     X   X Form 335-73 "Determination of Residenty & Tuition Status" and "Request to Enroll Nonresident Student"
Non-Public Schools X X          
Prince George's County (MD) X X X X X X 100A Form (If applicable)
Prince Williams (VA) X X X X     Affidavit of Residency and Immediate Enrollment of Child in Foster Care Form 
Private Schools X     X      
St. Mary's X X X X      

*If you need to enroll a client in a county in Maryland or Virginia not listed above, contact an Office of Well Being Education Specialist for enrollment instructions.

Q: Who may physically enroll a child in school?

A: Social workers (with an ID badge) and resource parents or other placement providers may physically enroll children/youth in public or charter schools in DC; however, resource parents or placement providers must enroll children/youth in all schools in all other jurisdictions.

Q: What do I do when a child changes school or has other changes in their case in the middle of the year that the school may need to know about?

A: Social workers must complete a Student Information Change Form whenever any of the following changes occur: 

  1. The child changes schools within the school year;
  2. The child is reunified with the parent and is no longer in out-of-home care; or 
  3. The child's education decision-maker changes. NOTE: In addition to completing the Student Information Change Form and submitting the form and a copy of any court orders to the Office of Well Being, the social worker should also provide a copy of any court orders changing the education decision-makers to anyone but the biological parent to the school within two days of the order being signed. 

Q: When should I physically withdraw a child from school? 

A: A child must be withdrawn from the last school attended before s/he can be enrolled in the new school. The social worker shall ensure that a request is made to transfer the child's records from the last school attended to the new school and that the new school receives the client's school records. Alternatively, the social worker can request a copy of the student's records and take them to the new school him or herself and can always contact an Office of Well Being Education Specialist if he or she is having any difficulty with the withdrawal or records transfer process. 

Questions and Other Inquiries

Please contact an Office of Well Being Education Specialist: