Advocate News


07.30.2015

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Advocate Tip:  Education Portfolios (What to Look For)

Whenever a child is removed from their home and placed in CPS care their educational information should follow them. The information should also follow the child at any subsequent placement changes. In order to facilitate that transfer of information, every child in CPS care should have an Education Portfolio (AKA: The Green Binder).

Who Creates the Portfolio?

When a child is removed from their home, all of their educational information should be obtained by the removing worker. The removing worker can either be the CPS Investigator or the Family Based Safety Services (FBSS) caseworker. At the time of removal, parents will be asked to provide the removing worker with as much information as possible regarding the children’s educational needs. The removing worker will also contact the children’s school to obtain the necessary information and should ensure that the information is transferred to the child’s new school, if necessary.

What Should be in the Portfolio?

At the time of removal the child’s education portfolio should include all of the information that would be needed to enroll the child in a new school. This should include a copy of the child’s birth verification or birth certificate, a copy of the child’s Social Security card or number, the child’s immunization records, and transcripts from the child’s previous school. While the child remains in CPS care, either the caseworker or caregiver should continue to add educational information to the Education Portfolio as it is obtained. The portfolio should include all of the child’s report cards, a copy of the child’s psychological evaluation (if applicable), documentation related to any ARD meetings, and documentation of any 504 accommodations. Children who are not school aged should also have an Education Portfolio that includes a copy of the child’s birth certificate or birth verification, a copy of the child’s Social Security Card or number, the child’s immunization records, and documentation of the child’s ECI evaluation and services.

How Can Advocates Help?

The child’s CASA Advocate can first assist by verifying that each child has an Education Portfolio. This information can be obtained by asking the child’s placement or caregiver if they have received the child’s Education Portfolio. If an advocate learns that the child does not have an education portfolio, they should contact the caseworker to ask about the status of the Education Portfolio and inquire as to when one will be provided to the caregiver. The advocate can then follow up with the caregiver at subsequent visits to make sure that the placement receives an Education Portfolio for each child. Advocates can also assist caregivers in maintaining the information contained in the Education Portfolio. Advocates can assist in obtaining school records if they are not already included in the portfolio. Advocates should also verify that the child’s Education Portfolio follows them anytime there is a placement change and that children who are aging out of care are provided with their Education Portfolio at the closing of their CPS case.

  1. List three things that should be included in the child’s Education Portfolio.
  2. True or False. Once created, the Education Portfolio only needs to be updated every three months.
  3. Name one way in which advocates can help with the Education Portfolio and explain why it would be important to do so.

To receive 1 hour worth of training credit, read the above article and submit answers to the accompanying training questions to Anna Munoz at amunoz@casa-satx.org.