The Education Support Center (ESC) supports the educational needs of children and youth involved with DHS from childcare age to college. The ESC priorities are to:
- Maintain the education stability of children in DHS care.
- Work with the School District to prevent school moves and any other disruptions to a child's education when in placement.
- Arrange subsidized childcare when needed for DHS-involved children birth to 5 years old.
- Help identify and remove other educational barriers for children in the child welfare system.
- Address any academic problems a student in DHS care may be having, whether it is trouble with reading, truancy, or getting to school.
For older children and youth in the care of DHS, the ESC can:
- Work with the School District and the child's service providers to serve the needs of children in DHS care.
- Coordinate transportation to school when necessary.
- Work with students to reduce truancy.
- Provide job training.
- Help college students overcome barriers.
For younger children in the care of DHS, the ESC can coordinate subsidized childcare, pre-K, or Headstart programs for children birth to 5 years old who are in placement with DHS in order to:
- Prevent placement. If getting childcare services will meet part of a safety plan for the child, ESC can help.
- Help families to reunify when a child is in placement with DHS. If a barrier to reunification is childcare or pre-K, the ESC can help.
- Enable kinship caregivers or foster parents to continue working while providing care.
ESC also helps families that are struggling with:
- Academic challenges and special needs.
- Discipline and behavioral concerns.