There is relatively new law regarding children in foster care or residential treatment.  There is a presumption that child should go to the same school( school of origin) and DCF has a meeting to make this determination.   Parents and children should have a voice as many times DCF will aim for having child go to the school nearest where the child is living even if not what is really in child’s best interest.  Some of the factors in a ‘best interest” decision making is:

  1.  Child’s age and grade level
  2. Child’s preference( when age appropriate)
  3. The time of year and academic performance
  4. individual skills, needs and social connections
  5. current educational goals and services( ( IEP, 504 plan(
  6. Number of DCF placement
  7. Anticipated length of time in placement for child and if reunification is goal( and how close to achieving)
  8. ability to maintain family relationship and engagement
  9. any clinical/behavioral or developmental issues
  10. safety issues
  11. distance/length of time of educational setting
  12. transportation

Parent, older children and their attorney or educational advocate should generally attempt to be part of the meeting and decision making.  The court can find that DCF has abused their discretion in certain circumstances( I recently had a hearing where the court made this determination)