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Foster Care Liaison History

Texas is one of few states in the nation to have mandatory foster care liaisons for both secondary and post-secondary education systems (Texas Education Code (TEC) Sections 33.904 and 51.9356, respectively). Liaisons in Texas were first implemented in secondary education to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2016). The Texas Legislature required liaisons in higher education to lead with Florida in uninterrupted support through education systems for foster youth and students with experience in foster care in 2015. Other states have university support for foster care liaisons yet lack the statewide support for institutionalizing liaisons in higher education. Regardless of whether states legislatively mandate liaisons in higher education or build statewide higher education support through higher education institutions, movements to assign foster care liaisons in higher education are growing in the U.S.

Though the liaison role has been implemented in K-12 education for youth in foster care (Zetlin et al., 2006), it is a newer model in higher education. Some states have mandatory support personnel on colleges campuses, but not all of them are called liaisons. In fact, multiple other terms are used interchangeably in the literature of campus support efforts, such as advisor, advocate, coach, champion, etc. Regardless, all roles denote an individual who serves as a point of contact on each campus to enhance social capital among college students with lived experience in foster care.

For more information on the liaison role, see our latest publication.

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