The Uninterrupted Scholars Act (USA) supports the sharing of information between state education agencies and child welfare agencies by permitting state education agencies to share educational records about children in the foster care system without parental consent. The information keeps child welfare workers informed about a child’s education history—including school enrollment and school stability—as they make placement recommendations to the court. Such information can help close gaps between students in foster care and their peers in graduation rates and achievement scores.
Insight supported the collection and analysis of information about the data exchange policies between state education agencies and child welfare agencies to help ED understand the challenges and facilitators to best practices. Specifically, Insight—
- Conducted a systematic review of over 7,800 documents to extract information about the presence of data exchanges, the policy motivation for data exchanges, the formality of the data exchanges, the direction of data exchanged, and the data elements exchanged
- Held a webinar for state education agency staff on the findings from the systematic review
- Conducted semistructured interviews with state education agency and child welfare agency staff in eight states to obtain information about challenges and facilitators related to the policies, their use and utility, and best practices
The study findings are being presented and discussed in a detailed report that includes both state-level case study summaries and overall findings.
Final report (anticipated 2022)