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DHS News April 2014     

Forums Scheduled to Answer Questions About Education Law

The Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Education Law Center have partnered to present education forums at Children, Youth and Families (CYF) Regional Offices in March, April and May.

The events, conducted as open houses, allow CYF personnel the chance to ask lawyers from the center questions concerning educational rights. While planned discussion is scheduled at some sessions, mostly the format allows caseworkers to get information at will at their home office.

Samantha Murphy, DHS Education Liaison, said a stronger partnership with the Education Law Center and CYF began with the collaborative work of a federal Education Stability grant received by DHS in 2011.   The center previously has done work with the Office of Data Analysis, Research and Evaluation (DARE) to help prioritize education needs for youngsters involved in the child welfare system.

The forums allow caseworkers to strengthen their knowledge of education law, so that they in turn can assist parents or caregivers with questions about everything from what services children may be entitled to in schools, to ensuring an educational evaluation ordered by the courts is completed. “This will be an opportunity for caseworkers to get good information to help families advocate for what their kids need,” Samantha said.

The forums will include short discussions of specific subjects, such as how to transfer school records between districts, how to request a special education evaluation or how to be sure children in foster care get a ride to school. Among questions that can be answered are those about school readiness; early learning opportunities; transportation; appropriate school placement; qualifications for special education; and discipline.

Sessions were held in March for all departments located in the Lexington Office Park and in the South Regional Offices.  Remaining sessions are scheduled as follows. All sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to noon.

Central Regional Office:  April 10

North Regional Office:  April 15

Mon Valley Regional Office:  May 7


For more information, contact Samantha at 412-350-2441 or via email.


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