Child protective services and the school enrollment process for foster students : a need to streamline the process for success.


Collaboration between Child Protective Services (CPS) and public schools is vital when enrolling a foster student in school (Somers et al., 2020). Successful school enrollment sets a foster student up for success by having all their services and educational accommodations in place from the first day. Therefore, foster students’ stakeholders in the school enrollment process must work together to improve their educational outcomes. The improvements can occur by streamlining and improving the school enrollment process (Pears et al., 2015). Moreover, an unsuccessful school enrollment can place foster students academically behind and increase the likelihood of academic failure (Zetlin et al., 2006a). Increasing collaboration with stakeholders to improve the school enrollment process can provide foster students with their needed services upon enrollment (Somers et al., 2020). The current literature does not investigate the causes of failed school enrollments. The high academic failure rate encountered by foster students and the gap in the literature makes the investigation into the school enrollment process worth researching. This qualitative single case study provided data through one-to-one interviews that allowed me to explore the participants’ knowledge, experiences, and perceptions of the school enrollment process for students in foster care. I selected four participants to interview regarding the school enrollment process and its impact on the academics of foster students. I applied the theoretical framework of resiliency to examine the impact of the school enrollment process. The qualitative design, data collection, and analysis were crucial for addressing the research question. The study addressed the following research question: How does the current school enrollment process impact the educational success of foster students living in the State of Texas? Collaboration between CPS and the school impacts the school enrollment process. This study will benefit highly mobile foster care students with multiple school enrollments. The study gave insight into the difficult school enrollment process that can increase the likelihood of academic failure and challenges and close the gap in the literature. The participants’ perceptions offered a detailed and thick description to provide insight and to provide awareness into a complex and ever-changing problem regarding the school enrollment process.