You are here

Foster Care Education: Improving Educational Outcomes for Children and Youth

Foster Care Education Resources for COVID-19 Response

The State of Colorado and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are the lead entities and the role of CDE is to inform the conversation. In that role, the Commissioner of Education has been sending out communication to Superintendents.

Information to date for K-12 Education

Foster Care Program Overview

This program, established in 2012, is dedicated to ensuring that students in foster care are achieving academically through course completion, advancing to the next grade, accruing credits toward graduation, and on a path to post secondary success. These efforts are being organized by the State Coordinator for Foster Care Education, who is leading this work.  It was launched in partnership with the Colorado Department of Human Services, Morgridge Family Foundation, and Mile High United Way.

School District CWEL Designation Information

Under C.R.S. 22-32-138, each school district and the state charter school institute, shall designate a person to act as the Child Welfare Education Liaison (CWEL) for the district. The duties of the liaison include; working with child placement agencies, county departments, and the state department to facilitate the prompt and appropriate placement, transfer, and enrollment in school of students in out-of-home placement.

Puzzle Pieces


Every Transition Counts for Students in Foster Care -

3-minute video on the importance of educational stability, Colorado partnerships, and previously released research on educational outcomes for students in foster care.  The video was developed with support from the U.S. Dept. of Education.

Legislation and Guidance

Foster Care Legislation picture small

Resources and Links

foster care resources picture

Communications and Highlights


The Helen M. McLoraine Scholarship for Foster Care & Emancipating Youth was created to provide educational scholarships for foster care youth who are emancipated or are in the process of preparing to emancipate from the foster care system in Colorado. Scholarship awards can be up to $10,000 per year for a total of four years. Online application and an overview of the eligibility requirements (for first-time applicants).

Eligibility and Application: Online application and an overview of the eligibility requirements. This program is open to students who have spent a minimum of 24 months in Colorado’s foster care system between the ages of 13 and 18.

Reapplication – Students who have RECEIVED funding from this scholarship program in previous years may fill out the reapplication (it has fewer questions). Be sure to start the application that says “reapplication” in the title.

Forward Steps Scholarship is a comprehensive scholarship program for young adults who have transitioned out of foster care in Colorado. They are committed to ensuring that every student has the resources and support necessary to get into and through college. The Forward Steps Guardian Scholars Scholarship provides up to $6,000 in unmet financial need per academic year. By supporting our scholars in their academic and personal development, we equip our students with the skills and tools necessary to reach their full potential as active, independent, and self-sufficient members of their community. Interested applicants should apply online at

Help with completing the FAFSA

Needed for FAFSA:

Confirmation of Foster Care Dependency Court Form


Resources For Highly Mobile Students (Foster, Homeless, Migrant)

Resources For Highly Mobile Students (PDF)

Contact Information

Foster Care Education contact:

Kristin Myers
Cell: 720-576-8506

Mailing Address

Colorado Department of Education
201 E Colfax
Denver, CO 80203