Section 314.30  Education Policy


a)         The Department shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that all children in Department custody are enrolled in school within two school days after being taken into custody, or being moved to a new placement requiring a change in schools.  In no event will any child remain unenrolled by the Department for more than five school days. These reasonable efforts shall include, but are not limited to: requesting school records from previous schools, assisting the caretaker in the enrollment process, and arranging for transportation.


b)         The Department shall make a determination as to whether it is in the best interest of the child to continue enrollment in the current school, even though the child has been moved to a placement outside of the school district.  If the child is enrolled in a special education program, the Department shall ask the current school to convene immediately an IEP conference to determine whether the child should continue in the current school.  If it is determined that the child should remain in the current school, the Department will advocate with the appropriate school district or other appropriate governmental entity for the provision of transportation to maintain such a ward in his/her current school.  Where a change of school would cause serious educational or emotional harm to the child, the Department shall assure the provision of transportation to maintain the child in his or her school.


c)         Foster parents or other caregivers shall be responsible for giving consents for the following school related activities:  field trips within the State of Illinois, routine social events, school enrollment, sporting events, and cultural events.  For other situations that arise which require a consent from a child's parent or guardian, the Department shall be contacted.  For situations relating to special education services, the Department and the surrogate parent must be contacted. Surrogate parents appointed by Illinois State Board of Education are the only persons authorized to provide consent to special education services.


d)         Children for whom the Department is legally responsible who are eligible for special education services are entitled to receive the protections, services, and due process provided under State and federal laws.  The Department shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure that such children are classified as eligible for special education services only in accordance with mandated case study evaluation practices provided under State and federal law (23 Ill. Adm. Code 226, Special Education, and 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq., Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).


e)         Children for whom the Department is legally responsible shall not be deprived of planned family or sibling visitation or other family contact as punishment for school performance or for conduct at school.


f)         Children for whom the Department is legally responsible shall not be enrolled in GED programs in lieu of enrollment in a regular secondary school program.


g)         Tutoring services shall not be used in lieu of school attendance except where indicated by an exercise of judgement by an educational, psychological, developmental or medical professional and documented in the child's education plan.