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Financial Support Systems > Specialized Support & Client Services > Educational Travel Reimbursement

Educational Travel Reimbursement

0900-520.20 | Revision Date: 07/26/18

Overview

This policy guide provides information on reimbursement for educational travel for children/youth/nonminor dependents (NMDs) in placement that remain in their school-of-origin, including information on the Education Travel Rates (ETRs) for car mileage and resources for public transportation.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Policy

Educational Travel Reimbursement

School of Origin

Foster Family Agencies (FFAs)/Certified Foster Parents

Nonminor Dependents

Education Travel Rate (ETR)

Public Transportation

Prorating/Cost Sharing/Overpayments

Procedure

School-of-Origin Travel Plan and Reimbursement

ER/ERCP/Case-Carrying CSW Responsibilities

SCSW Responsibilities

Public Transportation to/from School-of-Origin

ER/ERCP/Case-Carrying CSW Responsibilities

SCSW Responsibilities

Caregiver/NMD Requests Retroactive Reimbursement

Case-Carrying CSW Responsibilities

SCSW Responsibilities

Approvals

Helpful Links

Forms 

Referenced Policy Guides

Statutes

Version Summary

This policy guide was updated from the 07/01/14 version to include the definition for school-of-origin and indicate what must apply in order for Education Travel Reimbursement (ETR) paymetns to take place once the school-of-origin has been established.

POLICY

Educational Travel Reimbursement

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has a statewide rate and methodology for reimbursing costs related to transporting a child in grades K-12 to his/her school-of-origin. The Educational Travel Reimbursement Rate (Educational Travel Rate - ETR) may be utilized for children/youth/NMDs who are placed in out-of-home care, whose case plan/Educational Stability Plan indicates that the child/youth/NMD will remain in their school-of-origin.

 

Children/youth/NMDs residing in the following circumstances are eligible:

 

The School-of-Origin is defined as:

For newly-detained children/youth/NMDs:


For replaced children/youth/NMDs:



Once it is established that the child/youth/NMD is attending the school-of-origin the following must apply to qualify for the ETR payment:

 

Once the ETR payment is established it is expected to be used for other education-related transportation (for example: after-school activities, extra-curricular activities, parent-teacher conferences, school dances, and to travel to or from school to pick-up a child for appointments or illnesses.)

DCFS is not required to provide the ETR for children who are temporarily absent from foster care (e.g. runaways, children who are hospitalized, etc.) 

 

Education Travel Reimbursement is retroactive to either January 1, 2010 or the first date of placement, whichever is most recent.

Foster Family Agencies (FFAs)/Certified Foster Parents

Foster Family Agencies (FFAs) receive payment for educational travel costs as part of the foster care payment for each child whose Case Plan indicates that the child will remain in their school-of-origin. ETR payments are not processed as separate reimbursements.  FFAs are required to pay the entire amount of the ETR to the Certified Foster Parent, except in cases where the FFA is providing the transportation rather than the Certified Foster Parent. Certified Foster Parents and FFAs must immediately report any changes that affect the ETR part of the foster payment to DCFS.

Nonminor Dependents (NMDs)

When a NMD who is placed in a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP)SILP is a supervised and approved placement that is part of the Extended Foster Care program. SILP is a flexible and the least restrictive placement setting. It can include: an apartment (alone or with roommates); shared living situations; room and board arrangements; room rented from a landlord, friend or relative, or former caregiver; or college dorms., is attending high school at his/her school-of-origin, and all other Extended Foster Care (EFC) requirements have been satisfied, he/she is entitled to directly receive the ETR or public transportation. ETR rates are the same for NMDs.

Education Travel Rate (ETR)

The Educational Travel Rates (ETR) breakdown as follows, and are based on the foster parent or other designee’s driving four (4) one-way trips per day (one round trip from home to the school in the morning and one round trip from home to the school in the afternoon), fifteen school days per month, 180 school days per year (divided by twelve (12) months).

 

Travel Distance from Foster Care Placement to School-of-Origin (in miles) – ONE WAY

Educational Travel Rate (ETR) per Month per Child

Up to 3 miles

$0

4-8 miles

$58

9-13 miles

$154

14-18 miles

$250

19-23 miles

$347

24 or more miles

$443

 

*A partial mile should be rounded up if it is 0.5 and above, and rounded down if less than 0.5.

Public Transportation

DCFS can also provide funding for school-of-origin public transportation, including bus passes/TAP Cards/EZ Pass TAP Cards/tokens/coupons to the youth or caregiver under the following circumstances:

 

The same eligibility requirements apply to public transportation.

Prorating/Cost Sharing/Overpayments

Back to Policy

PROCEDURE

School-of-Origin Travel Plan and Reimbursement

The following procedures apply to children who are initially detained and placed in out-of-home care who will remain in his/her school-of-origin, children already in an ongoing out-of-home care placement who are attending his/her school-of-origin, and nonminor dependents (NMDs) in a Supervised Independent Living Program (SILP) who are attending his/her high school-of-origin.

ER/ERCP/Case-Carrying CSW Responsibilities

  1. For children who are initially detained and/or placed in out-of-home care, explain to the caregiver that it is a provision of the child’s Educational Stability Plan to continue to attend his/her school-of-origin.
  1. Provide a copy of the completed DCFS 1399, Notification to School of Pupil’s Foster Care Status to the caregiver.

 

  1. For all eligible children/youth, inform the caregiver/NMD that an Educational Travel Reimbursement is available.

 

  1. Inform the caregiver/NMD of the distance, in miles, to the school-of-origin and the applicable Educational Travel Rate (ETR).

 

  1. Use the DCFS 63B, School-of-Origin Travel Plan form to develop the School-of-Origin Travel Plan with the caregiver (this must be completed at the time of placement or within three (3) days of placement for children who are initially detained and placed in out-of-home care). This can be done in person or over the phone.
  1. Explain that education travel reimbursement commences with the child’s eligibility for the foster care maintenance payment (or in the case of NMDs, at the time of SILP eligibility).
  1. Advise the caregiver that Education Travel Reimbursement is retroactive to the first date of placement.
  1. Explain that the caregiver/NMD may also choose to provide transportation and waive the reimbursement.

 

  1. Obtain the caregiver’s/NMD’s signature on the completed DCFS 63B at the time of placement or within thirty (30) days, at the monthly face-to-face contact visit.

 

  1. Complete the DCFS 280, Technical Assistance Action Request.

 

  1. Submit the DCFS 280 and the DCFS 63B to the SCSW for approval.

 

  1. Upon receiving the approved DCFS 280, submit it to the Technical Assistant (TA).

 

  1. File the DCFS 63B and a copy of the DCFS 280 in the Service Eligibility (yellow) folder.

 

  1. If the child/NMD stops attending his/her school-of-origin, complete a DCFS 280 to stop the Education Travel Reimbursement.

SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the DCFS 63B and the DCFS 280 (if applicable).
  1. If approved, sign and return to the CSW for submission to the Technical Assistant (TA).
  1. If incomplete, return to the CSW for corrective action.

Back to Procedure

Public Transportation to/from School-of-Origin

ER/ERCP/Case-Carrying CSW Responsibilities

  1. Explain to the caregiver that the Education Stability Plan requires the child to continue to attend his/her school-of-origin.

 

  1. Determine if public transportation is an appropriate means for the child/youth/ NMD to attend his/her school-of-origin.

 

  1. If this is the child’s initial placement, provide a copy of the completed DCFS 1399, Notification to School of Pupil’s Foster Care Status.

 

  1. Each month, complete the DCFS 63E, School-of-Origin Public Transportation Request & Receipt and submit it to the SCSW for approval.
  1. Indicate the age and date of birth of the child.

 

  1. Upon SCSW approval of the DCFS 63E, submit it to the Transportation Clerk (or designated staff) and obtain the requested bus passes/TAP Cards/EZ Pass Tap Cards/tokens/coupons.

 

  1. Distribute the bus passes/TAP Cards/EZ Pass Tap Cards/tokens/coupons in a timely fashion.

 

  1. Document the number of School-of-Origin bus passes/TAP Cards/EZ Pass Tap Cards/tokens/coupons issued to the caregiver in CWS/CMS Case Notes.

 

  1. Ensure that the caregiver/NMD only receives one of: either a School-of-Origin bus pass/TAP Card/EZ Pass TAP Card/token/coupon or the Educational Travel Reimbursement monthly rate for the child/NMD.

 

They are not permitted to receive both.

SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the DCFS 63E.
  1. If approved, sign and return to the CSW for submission to the Technical Assistant (TA)
  1. If incomplete, return to the CSW for corrective action.

Back to Procedure

Caregiver/NMD Requests Retroactive Reimbursement

Case-Carrying CSW Responsibilities

  1. In addition to the procedural steps listed above, have the caregiver/NMD complete the DCFS 63F, Education Travel Caregiver Affidavit for Retroactive Reimbursement, following the completion and distribution instruction on page 2 of the form.

 

  1. Include a copy of the DCFS 63F in the packet sent to the SCSW for review and approval.

SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the DCFS 63B and the DCFS 280 (if applicable).
  1. If approved, sign and return to the CSW for submission to the Technical Assistant (TA)
  1. If incomplete, return to the CSW for corrective action.

Back to Procedure

APPROVALS

SCSW Approval

HELPFUL LINKS

Forms

LA Kids

DCFS 63B, School-of-Origin Travel Plan

DCFS 63E, School-of-Origin Public Transportation Request & Receipt

DCFS 63F, Education Travel Caregiver Affidavit for Retroactive Reimbursement

DCFS 280, Technical Assistance Action Request

DCFS 1399, Notification to School of Pupil’s Foster Care Status

Referenced Policy Guides

0100-510.61, Placement Responsibilities

0100-535.25, Extended Foster Care (EFC)The Extended Foster Care program allows a foster youth to remain in foster care and continue to receive foster care payment benefits (AFDC-FC payments) and services beyond age 18, as long as the foster youth is meeting participation requirements, living in an approved or licensed facility, and meeting other eligibility requirements. Program

0900-520.10, Requesting Public Transportation for Clients: Eligibility and Ordering/TAP Cards, EZ Pass TAP Cards/Tokens/Coupons: Eligibility & Ordering

Statutes

All County Letter (ACL) 13-03, dated 03/28/13 and ACL 11-51, dated 09/23/11 – States that the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-351), lays out terms of the Educational Transportation Reimbursement, including eligibility and rates for NMDs.

 

All County Letter (ACL) 10-12, dated 03/15/10 – States that the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-351), lays out terms of Case Plan Assurances and Educational Transportation Reimbursement.

 

Education Code Section 48850(a)(1) – States that educational and school placements must be made in the best interest of the child and should consider educational stability and the opportunity to be educated in the least restrictive educational setting necessary to achieve academic progress.

 

Education Code Section 48853.5 – Requires a local educational agency to allow a foster child to continue at their school-of-origin at the child’s initial detention, placement, or any subsequent change in placement for the duration of the jurisdiction of the court, and for the duration of the school year if the court’s jurisdiction is terminated prior to the end of the academic year.

 

Education Code Section 48853.5(e) – Defines “school-of-origin.”

 

Public Law 110-351 – Amended Title IV-E of the Social Security Act to require that a case plan ensure an Educational Stability Plan for a child in foster care. It also provides for the cost of reasonable travel for a child to remain in their school-of-origin.

 

Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Section 16001.9(a)(13) – States that all foster youth have the right to attend school and participate in extracurricular, cultural, and person enrichment activities.

 

WIC Section 16010(a) – States that the Case Plan must include assurances that the child’s placement in foster care takes into account proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement, and the number of school transfers the child has already experienced.

 

WIC Section 16501.1(c)(1) – States in part that if an out-of-home placement is used to attain case plan goals, the decision regarding choice of placement must be based, in part upon selection of a setting that is in close proximity to the child’s school.

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