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Gwinnett County Public Schools

Foster Care Program

Office of Health and Social Services

Sylvia Florez, LCSW
Foster Care Social Worker

Students in the temporary custody of the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) are experiencing foster care. Relatives and fictive kin should confirm with their DFCS case manager if the student is in DFCS custody, as students can experience foster care can be placed with relatives or fictive kin.  

In order for DFCS to enroll a student experiencing foster care, a DFCS worker should present DFCS ID, court order showing the student is in DFCS custody, and provide the address of where the student is currently residing. For a foster caregiver to enroll a student experiencing foster care, the caregiver should present an ID and letter from DFCS authorizing the enrollment. This Placement Authorization Letter includes the student’s name, date of birth, the foster parent’s name, and the foster home address.

To identify students experiencing foster care and ensure they receive the appropriate supports, caregivers should complete a new foster care questionnaire (FCQ) at the beginning of every school year and each time the student enrolls at another school. This questionnaire identifies the student, their current and previous school, DFCS contact information and county, the foster parent contact information, and if the student will need school of origin transportation. The FCQ can be accessed and completed online via

The Gwinnett County Public School’s Foster Care Program is dedicated to the educational excellence and stability of children and youth who are in the temporary custody of the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS).   The program envisions the implementation of evidence-based practices that aim to improve academic stability as well as enable students in foster care to achieve educational outcomes that equal or surpass that of their non-foster peers.

Students in foster care have the right to:

  • Be immediately enrolled in school without vital documents available
  • Maintain enrollment at the school the student attended before coming into the current foster placement (school of origin)
  • Attend the zoned school according to where the foster family currently resides
  • Have considerations made to decrease the transfer of foster youth after a change of placement
  • Be awarded credit for all completed work in accordance with GCPS procedures
  • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin if requested by either foster parents or DFCS and determined to be in the “best interest” of the student
  • Receive transportation to and from the zoned school attended
  • Participate in school-related activities and receive free school meals
  • Use the dispute resolution process to address a grievance

The primary goal of the Foster Care Social Worker is to eliminate barriers to school enrollment and promote academic success for all students. In addition to providing support to local schools, the Foster Care Social Worker along with the school social workers serves as the link between families and community resources. The Foster Care Social Worker is responsible for providing ongoing training to families, schools, and community resources in an effort to promote awareness, education and most of all sensitivity to the needs of students in foster care.

Please click on the link below to learn more: