Foster Care Liaisons: Partnering for Student Success

By Tracy Myers, Equity Specialist and Foster Care Liaison, Bellevue School District

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) made way for school district’s to take a more active role in supporting foster care students and requires district’s to now have a Foster Care Liaison. With my previous experience as a Washington State Foster Care Social Worker, I had been advocating for the needs of foster care youth in the community and in my work at Bellevue School District (BSD). This opportunity to become the Foster Care Liaison for BSD was a perfect fit.

In this new role and with new laws, much of my time has been spent coordinating with school staffs and partners on foster care student rights in education and changes in practices to ensure that all foster care students are being supported in our schools. I felt it was incredibly important to begin collaborating with partners and experts in serving foster care students to collectively bring awareness to the school community. Treehouse is one of the partners I have been working with in support of my work and as a resource for the district.

My work with Treehouse Education Specialists, Jamie Burns and Kelsey Poppe, has been focused on supporting individual students and making systemic efforts to improve how school districts can serve foster care students. Jamie and Kelsey have always been so willing to share their experiences, challenges, and progress, so that we can problem solve together to determine the best options for specific students. I have also been organizing a regional meeting with other district liaisons, partners, and Children’s Administration staff, and rely on their experiences to help inform the larger group of student and partner needs. They are also helping me to develop meeting materials and have offered to co-lead upcoming trainings in the community.

Through my role as facilitator of the Foster Care Regional Network Meeting and in working with partners like Treehouse, my goal is to create school environments that can be a major positive influence in a foster care student’s life. Schools can become a place where foster care students thrive and realize academic success.

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About the Author

Tracy Myers has been working in the field of social work for over 13 years and recently entered into the education field with Bellevue School District in 2015. Her role as Equity Specialist and Foster Care Liaison allows her to continue in her journey as a leader in racial equity and advocate for positive change for foster care youth.

Comment (1)

Robin Morris

March 16, 2017

My name is Robin. Proud mom of our 2 sons who came through the system at 2 years 6mos and new born. My husband and I are empty nester now as our now 24 and 20 year old boys try the world on for size.
I am interested in learning more about the foster care student program and live in south end king county.
I have been considering starting volunteering at Tree house in september.

Thanks in advance for your response,


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