The Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the Oklahoma State Department of Education work together to ensure the educational stability of children in foster care.
Students in foster care are granted the following educational assurances:
- A child in foster care will remain in the child’s school of origin, unless a determination is made that it is not in the child’s best interest to remain in that school, and
- If a determination is made that it is not in the child’s best interest to remain in the school of origin, the child will be immediately enrolled in the school of residence, even if the child is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment.
These assurances are intended to minimize disruptions to a foster child’s education during moves and placement changes. Please review the Best Interest Determination for considerations regarding the child’s school placement. For questions about the Best Interest Determination, please email CWS Education.
To assist with enrollment and foster child educational rights, every district has a Foster Care Point of Contact (Download | Excel file).
For special education information Oklahoma’s Parents Center is a great resource. If you have a foster child in your home who you would like a referral for a special education advocate please contact CWS Education.
Children who are 3 and younger and are part of a confirmed child abuse and neglect case should receive a referral to SoonerStart. This will be completed by the child’s worker. SoonerStart is Oklahoma’s early intervention program that is designed to meet the needs of families with infants or toddlers with developmental delays. The program builds upon and provides supports and resources to assist the foster family to enhance the child’s learning and development.
This federally funded program is available at no cost for foster children from birth to age five. Head Start provides a learning environment for children that includes health care, meals and playtime.
To find Head Start programs in your area, please visit the Head Start Center Locator and type in the city name and zip code. A map will appear on your screen showing Head Start programs in that area. Click on the program to find more detailed information including hours of operation.
You can also visit The Oklahoma Association of Community Action Agencies website and click on a map to choose Head Start programs in each county.