Fostering Youth with Disabilities – Navigating the School System

Updated: 1 year ago

504 Accommodation Plans

504 Plans provide accommodations for students with disabilities to help them access education. Preferred seating, assignment modifications, and check-ins are just a few examples of 504 accommodations. Foster parents can request 504 accommodations to help their foster child access education. Discuss this further with your child’s case manager for further support. Requests for 504 accommodations must be made in writing to the principal and general education teacher. Email is a great way to make these requests. Documentation of the disability and recommended accommodations from professionals working with the child will help this process. Read section 504 Law.

Special Education Evaluation

A student must qualify for special education and related services. When you enroll your foster child at school, ask if the child is receiving special education and related services. This is also known as having an Individualized Education Program (IEP). If the school responds that your foster child is not receiving special education and related services, and you think the child needs them to benefit from school, you can make a request in writing (email) for an evaluation to be conducted.

Making a Request for a Special Education Evaluation

  • Make the request to the principal, general teacher, and special education teacher.
  • Make the request in writing. An email is sufficient.
  • Provide a deadline for the response. Two weeks is sufficient.

Special Education Services

If your foster child is receiving special education services, they should have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Foster parents have the right to: As a foster parent, you may be asked to act as the parent on your child’s IEP team. Work with your child’s case manager and the school team to determine your involvement and to involve the child’s biological parents (if parental rights have not been terminated). The goal is to ensure special education services are appropriate and benefiting your foster child.

Contact us for more information about fostering and education.

Section 504 plans

  • Special Education Evaluations
  • Special Education Services
  • Utah State Office of Education (USOE)
  • Utah Parent Center (UPC)
  • Utah Foster Care (UFC)
  • Utah Department of Human Services (DHS)