Every Student Succeeds Act and Foster Youth as Students

May 19th, 2020

The Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed by then President Obama in 2015, includes significant protections and supports for foster youth, who are an extremely vulnerable and underperforming population of students.  Leaning heavily on the mandates outlined within ESSA, Indiana has established a highly collaborative process between child welfare and education state-level agencies, and the local schools/corporations to help identify and provide increased stability for foster youth. 

Individuals participating in this webinar can expect the following:

  • Learn about the specific requirements of ESSA as they relate to foster youth.
  • Learn who the state points of contact are for foster youth at the Department of Child Services and the Indiana Department of Education, and have access to their contact information.
  • Learn about requirements for local foster care points of contact within each school/corporation.
  • Learn about collaborative process for determining educational best interest placement for foster youth.
  • Understand the difference between the school of origin and transitional school/corporation, and their responsibilities in supporting foster youth through ESSA.
  • Learn about resources to increase knowledge and application of ESSA to support foster youth.

Guest speakers, Melaina Gant, M.Ed, Department of Child Services, and Jeff Wittman, Indiana Department Of Education, will be sharing information about how to serve foster youth across Indiana in a manner that helps them to reach their unique potential.


Advocating for the Foster Child with Special Needs

May 8th, 2020

This training is for foster parents, case managers, CASAs, judges, teachers, and others who work with foster children. It provides information about risk factors for foster children with disabilities, the special education process and how to advocate for foster children.

COVID 19: An Interview with Indiana’s Director of Special Education, Dr. Nancy Holsapple

April 30th, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has created many questions as to how children, especially children with special needs, will be educated. This webinar with the Indiana Director of Special Education, Dr. Nancy Holsapple, and Lesa Paddack, IN*SOURCE Parent Liaison to the IDOE, discusses questions dealing with special education services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our hope is that this webinar will assist in answering some common questions surrounding services during this time. We know this is a challenging time for everyone and hope to provide assistance in understanding this unique situation.


An Interview with Betsy Fouts, Director of the BUILD Program at University of Indianapolis

April 24th, 2020

The Build Program was established in 1990 as a full support program to help students with any learning-related disabilities.   UIndy's caring, dedicated professors, low student-to-faculty ratio and small class sizes provide personal attention to Build students in a nurturing environment.

Understanding the Importance of Inclusion in Education

April 9th, 2020

Inclusion in special education is the education of all students, regardless of ability, in the general education setting. Students with special needs may require special aids and services in order to be served in the general education setting. Research supports better outcomes for all students when children of all abilities are included. This training dispels myths, discusses research, and cites federal laws that support the inclusive education of children with special needs. Parents will learn how to use the principles of federal law (IDEA) to talk to their school team about inclusion.

COVID 19: Special Education During School Closures

April 9th, 2020

Join IN*SOURCE’s Karen Rusk and the Director of Special Services of Wayne Township Schools, Dr. Tara Rinehart, as they discuss COVID 19 and what that means for families who have students with special needs.


April 4th, 2020

This presentation will focus on recent research conducted in Indiana on the academic outcomes of students who have been included in general education classrooms. The session will present the research findings and discuss implications for families.

Cómo Prepararse Para Su Conferencia Del Caso De La Educación Especial

April 4th, 2020

Las conferencias de casos pueden ser confusas y estresantes para los padres. Esta sesión ayuda a los padres a identificar temas de preocupación, organizar documentos, preparar información y comunicarse de manera efectiva durante la conferencia del caso. Esta clase ayudará a los padres a convertirse en el mejor defensor de sus hijos y a construir relaciones positivas con el personal de la escuela.

Preparing for Your Child’s Special Education Case Conference

April 4th, 2020

Case conferences can be confusing and stressful for parents. This session helps parents identify issues of concern, organize documents, prepare information, and communicate effectively during the case conference. This class will help parents become their child's best advocate and build positive relationships with school personnel

IN*SOURCE: A Parent Center & the Parent Support Volunteer Program

April 4th, 2020

A Parent Training and Information Center (or PTI) is a terrific information resource for parents of children with disabilities. Every state has at least one PTI. In Indiana, the PTI is the Indiana Resource Center for Families with Special Needs or IN*SOURCE. This webinar will provide information about IN*SOURCE and the services we provide to parents and families of children with special education needs and to professionals in the disability community. 

The second part of our webinar will focus on our parent support volunteer program, what it is, and how you can join other parents who support our efforts of helping families throughout the state.