Resources for Foster Care Parents

Many resources are available to support foster care students as they pursue an education. For additional information and resources, download Information for Foster Care Families. Should you have questions, please contact Rosie Coleman at or 512-414-0114.

School Choices and Residency Requirements

  • Students may either continue attending their current school or enroll in the school in the attendance zone of their placement. Different high schools in Austin ISD provide different areas of focus, so encourage your student to seek out what most interests him/her. Find a list of the programs available at Austin ISD high schools.
  • If the student will be attending the school in the attendance zone where the foster parent resides, standard proof of residency is required (lease, utility bill, or other accepted document). 
  • If unsure which school is in your attendance zone call the Office of Student Services, 512-414-1726 or view school assignments online.
  • State law provides that students may continue to attend the school in which they were enrolled immediately before placement and may remain there through the highest grade offered by the school. Austin ISD however, allows students to remain in the school or within the school’s feeder pattern on a tuition-free basis even if placed outside the school or AISD attendance zone. Unfortunately, the District is unable to provide transportation.

Resources Available to Foster Students

  • Free lunch- Foster students are categorically eligible for free meals in the National School Lunch Program/School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program, Summer Food Service Program, and Child and Adult Care Food Program. All that is required is DFPS form 2085, which is collected through Project Help (through each school's front office) and they verify the information. 
  • Free Pre-K- Foster children are eligible for free Pre-K, if the child is at least three years of age and is currently in, or ever has been in, Texas foster care as a result of an adversarial hearing.
    • Children ages 3, 4, and 5 in the conservatorship of DFPS must be enrolled in:
      • A pre-kindergarten program offered through the public school; or
      • An early childhood education program offered through Head Start, if available. If a program is not available in the local community, caregiver must notify caseworker.
      • A caregiver who wishes to enroll the child in a private early childhood education program or a pre-kindergarten program must secure approval for exception to enrollment through the child’s caseworker, supervisor, and program director.
      • Learn more information about Austin ISD Pre-K enrollment
  • College and Dual Credit Tuition and Fees Waiver- The Texas tuition and fee waiver provides tuition exemptions at state-supported institutions of higher education to youth who enroll as an undergraduate or in a dual credit high school course if:
    • The student was under the conservatorship of DFPS either:
      • on the day before the student’s 18th birthday;
      • on or after the student’s 14th birthday, if the student was also eligible for adoption on or after that day;
      • on the day the student graduated from high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma;
      • on the day before the date the student is adopted or permanent managing conservatorship is awarded to a person other than the student’s parent, if that date is on or after September 1, 2009; OR
      • during an academic term in which the student was enrolled in a dual credit course or other course for which a high school student may earn joint high school and college credit
      • AND the student enrolls before the age of 25.
  • For information on dual credit courses offered at Austin Community College, visit ACC’s website.
  • For information on Austin Community College’s resources for former and current foster care students visit ACC’s Foster Care Alumni Program website.
  • Additional College or Vocational Training Funding- The Texas Education Training Voucher (ETV) provides additional money to former foster youth who enroll in a college or training program. Students can be eligible to receive up to $5,000 a year to help with housing, food, books, computer equipment, tuition and other expenses. This is in addition to the Texas tuition waiver program. To receive funds students generally must be:
    • 16 or 17 and in DFPS foster care and likely to stay in care until student is 18;
    • Not yet 21, but aged out of DFPS foster care; OR
    • Not yet 21, and were adopted from DFPS foster care after turning 16.