Education Advocacy Project
Many children and youth need extra support and services at some point during their time in school. Children in foster care, however, face a whole host of additional challenges at school, many of which stem from the trauma of being removed from their homes or a lack of educational continuity due to changing foster care placements. Children in foster care often switch schools multiple times and, as a result, they can fall through the cracks in the education system.
In addition, young people in foster care are more likely to need special education services but, because they must rely on their agencies to advocate for their needs, they often do not get these services in a timely manner. Many do not receive necessary evaluations for Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), and those who do often suffer from the improper implementation of these plans.
In 2008, Lawyers For Children launched the Education Advocacy Project in response to the deep and growing need for specialized advocacy for the educational needs of our clients. The project consists of a social worker and an attorney who work together to provide targeted services that combine their expertise in New York City’s complex and ever-changing education system and education law, with their background in foster care advocacy.
The Education Advocacy Project team fights for the educational rights of individual clients in Family Court and in school hearings; connects clients to educational resources and services in the community; and consults with LFC’s entire professional staff to ensure they are equipped with the tools they need to advocate for all of our clients’ educational successes.