Part II (continued from Part I1) examines aspects of special education law that apply particularly to child welfare and juvenile delinquency.
Why Special Education Is Relevant
Foster children are more likely to have a disability than children in the general population. A high percentage—30 to 40 percent—of foster children are in the special education system. This is a significantly higher percentage than for non-foster care children.2 Children born with disabilities are more often abused and more often relinquished to the child welfare system than children without disabilities.3 Disabilities may be caused by abuse, and approximately 25 percent of developmental disabilities are estimated to be caused by abuse.4 Children with disabilities also remain in foster care longer.5
On the other hand, children in foster care sometimes are overidentified as special education students because they are troubled, and may be removed from the general school population.6 Special education is not a solution for problems not related to disability, and segregation into a special education program can be damaging.
Both youths with disabilities and youths in foster care are more likely to drop out of school. Both are at high risk of failing to make successful transition to adulthood.7... Read More →