Data & Technology
Web LinksDownloadable foster youth definitions documentiew reports for all districts within a countyData and Technical Assistance to Promote Child Welfare System Improvementnformation about California Public and Private Schools (including nonpublic nonsectarian schools, school districts, and county offices of education)Fiscal, Demographic, and Performance Data on California’s K-12 Schools
Foster Youth Data in CALPADSThis content is based on CALPADS foster match functionality as of 2014-15This content is based on CALPADS foster match functionality as of 2014-15
What is the definition of foster youth used for LCFF and related foster data?
A child or youth who is the subject of a petition filed under Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) § 300 (meaning a court has taken jurisdiction over a child and declared the child to be a dependent of the court due to the presence or risk of abuse or neglect).
A child or youth who is the subject of a petition filed under WIC § 602 (meaning a court has taken jurisdiction over a child and declared the child to be a ward of the court due to the child’s violation of certain criminal laws) and has been ordered by a court to be removed from home pursuant to WIC § 727 and placed in foster care as defined by WIC § 727.4(d).
A youth between ages 18 and 21 who is enrolled in high school, is a non-minor dependent under the placement responsibility of child welfare, probation, or a tribal organization participating in an agreement pursuant to WIC §10553.1, and is participating in a transitional living case plan.
A child or youth who is the subject of a voluntary placement agreement (effective January 1, 2022 per AB 1055).
A dependent child or youth of the court of an Indian tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization who is the subject of a petition filed in accordance with the tribe's law (effective as of the 2020-21 fiscal year per AB 1962 and amended by AB 1055, effective January 1, 2022).
Since tribal foster youth are not under the jurisdiction of the California juvenile court system, and their information is not collected on a statewide level, nor will such information be collected in the future, it will fall to Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) to collect this information at the local level and report it to the California Department of Education (CDE). Go to the Tribal Youth Foster Youth page for additional guidance.
The LCFF definition of a pupil in foster care does NOT include a child or youth who:
is receiving voluntary family maintenance services and is NOT the subject voluntary placement agreement,
is an Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM), or
is the subject of a petition filed under WIC § 602 that has NOT been ordered to be removed from their home
How are students identified as foster for CALPADS, DataQuest, and the CA School Dashboard?
The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is the authoritative source for identifying foster youth. CDSS is required to provide the California Department of Education (CDE) with information sufficient to identify pupils in foster care (EC § 42238.01(b)). In order to meet this requirement, CDSS provides data extracts from their CWS/CMS data system to the CDE weekly. The data extracts are matched to records in CALPADS, the statewide education data system. This process is commonly referred to as the CALPADS foster match.
County Offices of Education and Local Education Agencies can identify individual foster youth via CALPADS foster reports. A pupil must be included in the most recent CDSS extracts AND have a current school enrollment in CALPADS in order to be included on the CALPADS 5.7 foster reports.
The CALPADS C/A 5.7 report is a point-in-time list of matched foster youth enrolled in your county from any jurisdiction, as well as foster youth under the jurisdiction of your county who are enrolled in another county.
The CALPADS ODS 5.7 report is a point-in-time list of matched foster youth enrolled in your district from any jurisdiction.
The foster youth status populated in Local Education Agency (LEA) student information systems (SIS) does NOT determine the foster status in CALPADS. Instead, CDSS informs CALPADS foster identification via foster match process, and CALPADS informs LEAs via foster reports. LEAs should review the CALPADS foster reports regularly in order to maintain foster youth status data in their local SIS. Other local data systems and procedures may also be utilized to support foster youth identification.
The CALPADS foster match process is also used to inform foster data available in DataQuest and on the California School Dashboard. Beginning with the 2020-21 school year, the reports on DataQuest and the California School Dashboard include tribal foster youth with the exception of the DataQuest "Foster Student Data" group of reports. This report group is specific to CDSS youth identified in the foster match. For more information on tribal youth identification go to the Tribal Youth page.
What is the CALPADS Local Foster Match?
The California Department of Social Services provides data extracts from their CWS/CMS data system to the California Department of Education (CDE) weekly. These data extracts are matched to records in CALPADS, the state education data system. This process is commonly referred to as the CALPADS foster match and is used to determine which youth are identified and counted as foster in CALPADS, DataQuest, and the California School Dashboard. Some records in the CDSS data extracts cannot be successfully matched to a record in CALPADS due to discrepancies in demographic and residence data. When this occurs, education agencies may locally match a record in CALPADS using unique student identifiers from CWS/CMS and CALPADS.
Records that are not included in the CDSS data extracts cannot be locally matched in CALPADS because there is no CDSS data in the extracts to complete the match. When this occurs, school districts and county offices of education may work with the local child welfare or probation agency to confirm foster status and request a update CWS/CMS if needed.
County offices of education and school districts may also establish local data systems or notification procedures to reconcile CALPADS foster match data and track LCFF foster youth as needed. This typically requires a partnership with the child welfare and/or probation agency.