Data & Information Sharing

why share information between child welfare, education and the courts?

Collecting, evaluating, and sharing information on the education of children in out-of-home care is essential to improving their educational outcomes. The information we gather and share across systems allows us to:


  • Provide access to an individual child’s education information to ensure appropriate services
  • Track trends, deficits, and improvements for children in foster care
  • Shape education and child welfare policies, programs and practices

how can we help you?

The Legal Center has significant expertise in data collection and information-sharing, and can assist you in:
  • Identifying what information needs to be shared across systems;
  • Understanding how to share information consistent with federal and state confidentiality laws;
  • Developing the necessary tools for information sharing, such as Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) between child welfare and education.

For training or technical assistance requests, please contact us.

Federal Law

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Schools must comply with FERPA, which protects the privacy of a student’s education records.

  • Read a fact sheet about the 2013 Amendment to FERPA that allows for easier access to records for child welfare agencies.

videos and trainings

Webinar Series

 June 18, 2013 
 Uninterrupted Scholars Act - Introduction (PowerPoint)

 August 7, 2013
 State Implementation Strategies (PowerPoint)
 Sample Joint Letter Implementing USA
 Sample Release of Records Form (Michigan)
 Improving Education Outcomes for Youth in Care: Implementing the Uninterrupted  Scholars Act in the States (Webinar)

 November 14, 2013
The Uninterrupted Scholars Act: Promising Information-Sharing Practices (Webinar)

Additional Videos and Webinars

tools & resources

Federal Materials

Q & A Factsheets


This How-To Guide is divided into two sections: a Manual and Tools. The Manual provides details on relevant legal and policy considerations, as well as examples from around the country engaging in this important work. The Tools provide checklists to guide education and child welfare agencies in collaboration.

Mythbusting is an online, searchable publication that addresses the issues surrounding confidentiality and other barriers that arise when advocating for the educational rights of young people in care.

This brief describes the barriers to educational success that children in foster care often face, and how a new amendment to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) makes it easier for child welfare agencies to collaborate with schools to eliminate these barriers for children in foster care.