Onslow County leaders are working to provide foster students with extra protection.
The month of May is recognized nationally as Foster Care Month.
The Board of Education approved three revisions to policies Monday morning that are going to directly affect foster students by removing barriers and providing them with access to education.
Those policies — enrollment, immunizations and school assignments —previously protected homeless students.
After Monday’s revisions, they will provide protection for foster care students as well.
“We want to remove those barriers for those kids,” said Barry Collins, associate superintendent at Onslow County Schools.
For example, students without the appropriate records will still be able to enroll in school until those records can be provided.
Another change is to the school assignment policy.
“If we have a student that is already enrolled in Onslow County Schools and then they become a foster care child, we just want to make it easier for them,” Collins said. “Instead of moving them to the district they would be assigned, they have the opportunity to stay in their home district.”
Onslow County’s Department of Social Services said the provisions will ensure stability.
“They’ve been removed from their family of origin and then they’re going into a foster home with people they don’t know,” said Kimberly Winston, social work program manager. “If they have to change schools that’s not really good. We need some familiarity for them.”
This is a collaborative effort between the school system and county.
There are about 250 kids in the foster care system right now.
The Board of Commissioners will approve a special proclamation Monday evening, recognizing May as Foster Care Month.
Since it is Foster Care Month, the county also wants to remind people they are always in need of foster parents.
If you have an interest give them a call at (910) 455-4145.