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Janie:  I am the CASA Advocate for a child who is in permanent state custody. His foster parent was driving him 106 miles per day to a school that could accommodate his needs. DHS has said they would do what was necessary to provide this child with an education. Now they refused to pay the cost the foster parents incurred for 5 months. Is there any law that will force DHS to reimburse those fps?

  1. I can’t speak to the arrangement between the foster parent and DHS. I do want to suggest, though, that you and the foster parent look to the child’s “local school district.”
    If child is considered “homeless” under federal law, the school district where the student last lived before being considered homeless would be financially responsible for the student. Consequently, they would be responsible for providing transportation for the student and possibly for his school placement.
    There are a lot of variable to this equation. State law may dictate what entity is considered the local school district. The student’s special education status (if he has an IEP) and the exact nature of his placement may confuse the transportation issue.
    I encourage you to contact your local parent center to help sort through this ( Our center has a project that specifically deals with the needs of students in state custody, and perhaps yours will too.

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