Education Collaboration Project

The Education Collaboration Project (ECP) is a research and training process within the RI Child Welfare Institute. The goal of the ECP is to promote open communication and to build relationships among key constituents:  (1) youth with foster care history and professionals from (2) education and (3) child welfare systems. The ECP seeks to understand the needs of all constituents and to use this knowledge to empower these groups to improve school success for students in foster care.


Exploring Schools, Child Welfare & Students in Foster Care

Responding to the needs of students in foster care within the school setting can be challenging for schools, child welfare systems & students in foster care. Children and youth in foster care often experience barriers to their school success. These barriers tend to manifest through

      1. poor attendance
      2. low performance on academic tests &/or low grades
      3. multiple school and placement changes
      4. special needs related to social-emotional-behavioral challenges
      5. low rates of high school graduation

Due to these unique challenges, meeting the school needs of children and youth in foster care can be hard not only for the child or youth but also for professionals in school and child welfare systems.

Professionals in school & child welfare systems are responding to

      1. Federal Reform efforts (No Child Left Behind & the Child & Family Services Review)
      2. Demands associated with working with and serving clients in urban & often economically challenged communities

Students in foster care are responding to

      1. Emotional & behavioral responses that arise from separation from family members & communities
      2. Trauma resulting from maltreatment
      3. Uncertainty associated with foster care & new school settings 
      4. Reliance on school & child welfare systems for advocacy, support & coordination
      5. Changes in child welfare and school systems related to Federal Reform efforts (the Child & Family Services Review & No Child Left Behind)

It is the aim of the ECP to use its work with key constituents to answer several key questions necessary to improving school success for students in foster care:

      1. What makes this issue so challenging for everyone?
      2. What is working & what is not working?
      3. How can we make this issue better together?

The EJC is hosting a 15-week program, Connecting Public School and Child Welfare Systems to Students in Foster Care, sponsored by the RI College Continued Education Program. The EJC has inviteda dynamic group of youth with foster care history and professionals from child welfare and school systems to participate in opportunity. The program begins in November of 2010 and ends in May of 2011. The ECP team will support these participants as they define and begin to address issues impeding school success for students in foster care.

Participants will receive information regarding:

  • The needs of children and youth in foster care
  • Roles of professionals from child welfare and school systems
  • Current trends in meeting the educational needs of youth in foster care
  • Resources to support school success for students in foster care
    • Collaboration models
    • Legislation – Fostering Successful Connections and Increasing Adoptions Act

The Education Collaboration Projects seeks to promote collaboration between these groups as a vehicle for promoting school success and healthy futures for students in foster care. The information collected during this project is intended to be a bridge between child welfare and education systems and will be made available for child welfare and education staff.

For more information contact the Education Collaboration Project at
401-456-8768 or email Tonya Glantz at

Meet the ECP Team

Tonya Glanz

I am a social worker and have been working in the field of child welfare for over 19 years. I have a master's degree in Social Work and am currently completing doctoral study in education. I work as a clinical training specialist for the Rhode Island Child Welfare Institute. The parts of my job that I enjoy most include curriculum development and training professionals from child welfare (DCYF) and the community. I also enjoy teaching as an adjunct instructor for Rhode Island College and Providence College.
I'm really looking forward to beginning the process of exploration and collaboration that the Education Collaboration Project offers. 401.456.4623
Tonya Glanz

I am a senior social work student at Providence College. I enjoy working with children, youth and families. My work experiences include interning at Tides Family Services, volunteering at the Chad Brown Rudolph Tavares Center and working with the Pawtucket Child Opportunity Zone in various schools in Pawtucket. I have also served in a mentoring role with freshmen high school students in Pawtucket.

Over my years at PC I have developed an interest in social work and its relationship to education systems, which makes me excited to be working on this project. I am looking forward to participating in this course with all of you and learning more about the challenges that need to be overcome and how to continue to reinforce existing partnerships.

Tonya Glanz

My name is Morgan Fuchs and I am a first year MSW student at RIC.  I received my undergraduate degree in Political Science and have a passion for public policy and human service.  In the past I have assisted in legislative work at The Governor’s Commission on Disabilities and the RI Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Through my undergraduate education I have a developed a strong interest in systems theory, as well as child welfare.

I am excited to build a relationship with all of the course participants and explore different space deleted routes to achieve school success for students in foster care.

Tonya Glanz

I am currently a student in the MSW program at RIC; I received my BA in Human Development and Social Relations from Earlham College. I have worked in schools in Boston and Philadelphia serving students with a variety of developmental and behavioral disorders as an assistant teacher and behavior specialist. I am particularly interested in special education, program development and experiential learning.
I’m thrilled to be working with the Education Collaboration Project as liaison to teachers and child welfare staff. In my previous work in schools and residential programs I have seen first-hand the challenges of working with students in foster care. I can’t wait to begin our process and to meet you all!

Page last updated: November 4, 2010