Caregiver’s right to access education records

The California Department of Social Services has provided information regarding caregiver’s access to education records.  Caregivers for youth in foster care now have access to education records, including an approved or licensed foster parents, resource parents, an approved relative or non-relative extended family member, relatives caring for the child, tribally approved homes, foster family agencies and Short-Term Residential Treatment Program staff, even if they are not the child’s education rights holder.

Education rights holders, including caregivers who are sometimes assigned education rights by the courts, a child’s biological parent who retains education rights after their child is placed in foster care, or a person other than the child’s caregiver or biological parent who is appointed by a court to hold education rights, have full access to student records.

Education records inclue records of attendance, discipline, online communication on platforms established by schools for students and parents, and any plan adopted pursuant to federal law.

Child welfare agencies, probation departments, or their designated foster family agency, are required to take all necessary steps to assist the caregiver in obtaining relevant health and education agencies.

Case plans for children in foster care now must include the health and education summary, contact information be redacted when disclosure is a threat to health and safety, an assurance that the placement agency provided the health and education summary to the current caregiver and helped the caregiver in getting needed information for the health and education summary.  (ACL 21-86, August 20, 2021.)