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Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program
PCOE Public Facing Web Site

 Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program

Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program


Placer County Office of Education offers trusted support from a caring team of individuals. The PCOE Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program​ is focused on providing valuable resources and technical assistance to school districts throughout the county. Keep reading to learn more about our program, including who to contact for assistance.


 Foster Care in California

There are approximately 100,000 children in California living in foster care. Being removed from their families because they have experienced abuse or neglect, the State becomes their guardian and has a unique legal obligation to ensure their well-being. However, this doesn't mean they'll receive the education they deserve. In regards to receiving education, recent studies have found the following:

  • Foster kids have significantly higher rates of absenteeism and disciplinary referrals compared to their peers

  • 75% of these children perform below grade level

  • 83% of them are held back by third grade     

  • 50% of foster students obtain a high school diploma/GED 

  • Fewer than 3% will attend a four-year college

Improving the educational outcomes of foster children requires an improvement in collaboration between state and local child welfare professionals and judicial and education agencies--in addition to improving current policies and practices. Some recommendations include:

  1. Child welfare agencies: identification of educational strengths and needs; participation in education teams; case plans that include an expanded education section; improved communication of education plans and education progress to judges and other stakeholders.

  2. Judicial agencies:  Increased focus on education during dependency proceedings and appointment of educational champions.

  3. Education agencies: Identification of district foster youth education liaisons; identification of school-site foster youth education liaisons; identification of educational strengths and needs; facilitation of education team meetings.

Click through the tabs in this section to find more information about our program, including services offered, documents, resources, and who to contact for assistance.

 Purpose of Program

The PCOE Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program (FYSCP) is committed to providing needed resources and technical assistance for school districts. With a holistic, collaborative, and multi-disciplinary approach, FYSCP assists students in reaching their maximum educational and vocational potential--not to mention their well-being. The PCOE FYSCP has adopted the FosterEd approach to best serve schools, districts, and those children living in foster care.

What it FosterEd? PCOE partners with local education, child welfare, and judicial agencies to implement the following continuous cycle of data-driven interventions:

  1. Identification and support of an educational champion

  2. Development and monitoring of education team: Education liaisons create and monitor education teams for a child in foster care.

  3. Individualized educational goals based on strengths and needs. The student's educational strengths and needs are identified using a research-based tool and used to develop educational goals.

 Services We Provide

Using a Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) approach, the PCOE FYSCP provides outstanding educational case management solutions to all children living in foster care. Under this approach, data is used to prioritize supports and services for the youth in care. Working closely with school districts' foster youth liaisons, students who are identified as having a need for educational supports are provided assistance in the following areas:

  • Academics 

  • Social/emotional assistance

  • Transitioning

  • Vocational help

  • Counseling supports and interventions

To provide the best support possible, our program engages with the following two advisory groups:

The Systems Management Advocacy Resource Team (SMART)

This team consists of the Director of Health and Human Services, Superior Court Judge, Chief of Probation, PCOE Superintendent of Schools, Director of Mental Health America, Director of Children's System of Care, and the Superintendent of Western Placer Unified School District.​

The second advisory group, which meets quarterly, consists of professionals from:

School districts' foster youth programs, probation offices, Children's System of Care, Independent Living Program, Sierra College, Mental Health America, CASA, Koinonia Group Homes, and KidzCount.

Both groups act as advisory and oversight for implementation and outcomes for the FYSCP.


Below you will find many important documents to assist you in learning more about our programs. The attached document is a list of the Foster Youth District Liaisons in Placer County.

​​Placer County Foster Youth District Liaisons rev. 8.2020.pdf


Take a look at these additional resources for further details about our program: 

California - County Liaisons

Foster Youth Education Toolkit - This toolkit has additional information and tools for best practices to support youth in the foster care system.  

AB 490 OVERVIEW AB490 - Addresses school stability and transportation and Foster Youth District Liaison responsibilities

AB1933 School of Origin

AB167 - AB167 Graduation Requirements Waiver

ACL 11-51  - School of Origin Transportation - Fiscal responsibility between LEA and Child Welfare Department

CaFosterCareEdLawFactSheets  - Foster Care Education - Fact Sheets

CDE Foster Youth Services - California Department of Education, Foster Youth Services Department

FosterEd Connect

Caregiver Affidavit

ESSA - Non-Regulatory Guidance Ensuring School Stability for Students in Foster Care

​Transition Resources

Independent Living Skills Program (ILP)

FYS partners with the Children's System of Care for the identification of foster youth age 15½ or older who are in out-of-home placements. Referrals to ILP are made at age 16.​

Kaleidoscope of Employment for Youth Success 

KEYS is a collaborative project between FYS, the Department of Rehabilitation, and PRIDE Industries. This program is designed to ensure successful employment outcomes for foster youth, ages 16-19, who have significant barriers to employment.​

Resource, Referrals, and School Gap Program

Collaborate and connect foster youth, families and schools to community agencies and programs, including the School Gap Program (a grant from the City of Roseville) to help fill in the “gaps” and help ensure academic success for students by assisting in areas such as: enrichment opportunities, school activities, school supplies, health and hygiene products and more!​

College Transition Support Team

Partners with Sierra Community College, PCOE-FYS, Children's System of Care, and other community professionals to address the needs, concerns, and issues that affect the success and retention of former foster students attending Sierra Community College.​

Placer County Network of Care

The Placer County Network of Care is a one-stop-shop for wellness services and resources.  On this website, you will be able to connect with over 600 service providers in, and around Placer County.

 Independent Living Program


​The Independent Living Program (ILP) was authorized by the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-169). The ILP provides training, services, and benefits to assist current and former foster youth in achieving self-sufficiency prior to, and after leaving, the foster care system. 

The Placer County ILP is a collaboration between Placer County Office of Education (PCOE), Child Advocates of Placer County (CAPC), and the Children’s System of Care (CSOC). ILP delivers high quality services in the community where transition-aged foster youth (ages 14-21) are living and learning.

Services include, but are not limited to:

  • Personal development and resiliency

  • Employment

  • Financial independence

  • Education

  • Housing

  • Health care

  • Other skills associated with transitioning to adulthood.

 Eligibility & Service Components


Youth are eligible for ILP services from age 14 to the day before their 21st birthday, provided one of the following criteria is met:

  • Youth was/is in foster care at least one day after their 16th birthday

  • Youth is a former dependent who entered into a kinship guardianship at any age and is receiving/received Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payments (KinGAP) between ages 16-18

  • Youth is a former dependent who entered into a Non-Related Legal Guardianship (NRLG) after attaining age 8 and is receiving/received permanent placement services

  • Youth is between 14-15 years with an open dependency case (in placement) & attending school or living in Placer County (* if youth remains in out of home placement at least one day after their 16th birthday, youth will remain eligible for ILP services).

Program Components  

  • Case Management & Support

  • Life Skills Workshops

  • Educational Services

  • Job Readiness & Placement Services

  • Program Incentives

  • Information & Referrals to Community Resources

  • CASA/TAY Mentor Services

  • Access to Open Office Hours

  • ILP Pantry

  • Group Mental Health Services

  • Monthly Enrichment Activities

 ILP Contacts

Michelle Graf, Program Manager

(530) 886-2805   


Javier Mercado-Aleman, ILP Support Practitioner

(530) 886-5473 


Kelly Klinstiver, ILP Support Practitioner

(530) 889-6739




Alicia Rozum


(530) 745-1302



Athena Zografos

Student Support Practitioner

(916) 780-3218



PCOE-Mortar.png ​​​

Kim Somers

Student Support Practitioner

(530) 886-2878



Ashley Verker

Student Support Practitioner

(530) 886-2867



Jessica LeFohn


(530) 745-1467




Yes. PCOE offers many resources and supports for children and youth experiencing homelessness. Visit our McKinney-Vento Homeless ​Education page to learn more.

WHERE CAN I FIND Information related to Mental Wellness?

PCOE offers a wide variety of support options for those experiencing a mental illness. Visit our Student Mental Wellness page to learn more.​


PCOE is happy to offer assistance to foster children in need. We provide support with academics, social/emotional assistance, transitioning, vocational help, and counseling supports and interventions. Visit our Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program page to learn more.​​​​​

 Event Spotlight

PBIS  Tier I Training

Independent Living Program Workshops

Take a look at the numerous workshops to support the PCOE Independent Living Program. All workshops are held via Zoom.

Download the workshop calendar.



​Every child deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the best they can possibly be. 

​― Rita Pierson​