Educational Access Project for IDCFS at Northern Illinois University

Promoting educational success for children in foster care in Illinois in partnership with the Illinois Department of Children and Family (IDCFS) services since 1997

Educational Access Project staff operationalize the Center's mission through technical assistance and the collaborative development of solutions for educational issues that impede the progress of children served by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services

On behalf of children involved with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the Educational Access Project provides individual educational interventions, consultation, support, and collaboration to caregivers; child welfare, school, and court personnel; and community providers who serve these children.

Individual intervention for educational issues, such as:

  • Suspension 
  • Expulsion 
  • Enrollment
  • Truancy
  • Dropout
  • Special education services
  • Early childhood services
  • Academic performance
  • Post-secondary planning

For individual assistance for a child, please reference the Directory of Education Advisors by County.

Support and collaboration provided in many ways, such as:

  • Monitor and follow up on education issues identified in IDCFS Administrative Case Reviews
  • Monitor and follow up on school suspensions and expulsions identified in IDCFS Unusual Incident Reports 
  • Assist in education planning for IDCFS youth
  • Provide support to Foster Parent Advisory Board
  • Provide support to Statewide and Regional Youth Advisory Boards
  • Collaborate with the Illinois State Board of Education, Regional Offices of Education, and local school districts to address systemic issues affecting the education of children in the care of IDCFS

Training workshop and professional development, topics include:

  • Childhood trauma and education
  • Common Core Standards
  • Education advocacy
  • Education planning
  • Postsecondary education
  • School discipline
  • Section 504
  • Special education