San Mateo County Foster Youth Services


Foster Youth Services (FYS) is a program designed to serve the unique educational needs of children in foster care. Through our partnership with San Mateo Human Services agency, we seek to serve all youth in out-of-home placement including children living in foster homes, group homes, youth shelters, and residential treatment facilities.

FYS ensures that health and school records are obtained to establish appropriate placements and coordinate instruction, counseling, tutoring, mentoring, vocational training, emancipation services, training for independent living, and other related services. It seeks to improve the children's educational performance and personal achievement, increasing the stability of placements for foster youth.

Foster Youth Services in San Mateo County is a partnership between San Mateo County Office of Education and Human Services Agency, and works in collaboration with multiple agencies and non-profit organizations across our county. This page is specifically designed for San Mateo resource parents, social workers, residential treatment centers, and CASAs in San Mateo County to provide information and resources to support our foster youth's education.

The Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program uses the Foster Youth Toolkit, which ensures students receive the full benefits of laws designed to protect them.

Foster Youth Services is a program of the California Department of Education, resulting from Assembly Bill (AB) 490, effective 1/1/2004. Our Program seeks to improve educational outcomes for foster youth by establishing a level of collaboration and communication between schools, social service agencies, and foster youth caretakers that previously did not exist.

Educational liaisons are advocates who work to address the educational issues involved with foster youth, and who ensure and facilitate the proper enrollment into appropriate educational programs (Ed Code 48853.5). Additionally, liaisons provide the following services:

  • Consultation regarding educational issues
  • Gather educational records
  • Evaluate transcripts
  • Advocate for foster youth and their families on educational issues
  • Assist with educational transitions
  • Provide resources and referrals
  • Provide training to local education agencies, group homes, social services, and probation on educational issues affecting foster youth


Foster Youth Mini Series Training-TBD


Education Success Information

The Ed Success Handbook is the product of the Ed Success Working Group, a partnership working to ensure the educational needs of San Mateo County's dependent youth are met. The Ed Success Working Group is composed of staff from Foster Youth Services, Children and Family Services, CASA of San Mateo County, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and Legal Advocates for Children and Youth.

This guide serves to give caretakers, social workers, and probation officers an overview of key information to support our foster youth educationally. Statistically, foster youth have unique challenges as they move through their years of K-12 education, especially those that result from multiple school placements due to changing home placements. The links to Foster Ed Connect (our statewide foster youth website) provide a wide array of resources if you wish to research any of these topics in more detail. Keep in mind that you will need to register (free) with Foster Ed Connect to access the information on that site.


College Planning Handbook

This section is designed to provide basic information for assisting youth planning to attend college after high school. It is important to remember that each plan is unique and that colleges vary in their requirements and application process, so choosing a school early on and connecting with that specific school is most important. Also, identify someone who will be an education advocate and who will encourage and assist the student with the process.

Much of the information provided is available through and various other websites included at the end of this section for the reader's reference.


Executive Advisory Council


Foster Youth Site and District Liaisons are invited to attend the Executive Advisory Council with the SMCOE FYSCP, Youth Experiencing Homelessness team, and San Mateo County's community partners. We meet every other month, on Thursdays, from 9am-11am.

Meeting Dates:

Sep 15, 2022
Nov 17, 2022 
Jan 19, 2023 
Mar 16, 2023 
May 18, 2023 


District Foster Youth Education Liaisons

Bayshore Elementary Ms. Merl Sabado  Parent/Community Liaison 415-467-5443 x 117
Belmont-Redwood Shores Elementary Julie Eastburn Foster Youth Liaison 650-637-4800 x1061
Brisbane Elementary Aida Wong Gamba Assistant to Superintendent 415-467-0550 x 105
Burlingame Elementary Marla Silversmith Associate Superintendent, Educational Services 650-259-3828
Cabrillo Unified James Barne Director, Student Services  650-525-6364
Hillsborough City Elementary Bhavna Narula Director of Student Services  650-548-4211
Jefferson Elementary Stephanie Martinez Program Director of Student Services 650-991-1000
La Honda-Pescadero Unified Amy Wooliever Superintendent 650-879-0286
Las Lomitas Elementary Robin Spindler Director, Special Education/Student Services 650-854-1215
Menlo Park City Elementary Chris Arrington Wellness Coordinator/Mental Health Lead 650-464-3673
Millbrae Elementary Terry Brenner Director of Educational and Administrative Services  650-697-5693
Pacifica John Bartfield Director of Special Education and Student Services  650-738-6607
Portola Valley Elementary Lynette Hovland Principal 650 851-1777
Ravenswood City Elementary Jennifer Gravem Executive Director of Student Services  650.329.2800
Redwood City Elementary Antonio Perez Director of Student Services and Assessment 650-482-2457
San Bruno Park Elementary Anjelica Zermeno Director of Educational Services  650-624-3111
San Carlos Elementary Meagan Vizier Student Services Director  650-508-7333 x943
San Mateo Union High Don Scatena Director Attendance/Welfare 650-558-2258
San Mateo-Foster City Margaret Heredia Principal on Special Assignment for Student Services  650-312-7340
Sequoia Union High School District Jarrett Dooley Director of Student Services 650 369-1411 x 22389
South San Francisco Unified Ryan Sebers Director of Student Services 650-877-8744
Woodside Elementary Steven Frank Superintendent, Principal 650-851-1571 Ext. 1135
SMCOE Foster Youth Services Program Renee Vorrises Educational Liaison 650-802-5436
SMCOE Foster Youth Services Program Rosanna Anderson Educational Liaison


SMCOE Foster Youth Services Program Lauren Sneed Educational Liaison 


SMCOE Foster Youth Services Program Michelle Lee Administrative Assistant 


Mary McGrath

Executive Director, Safe and Supportive Schools


Phone: (650) 802-5425

Rosanna Anderson, MSW, PPS

Educational Liaison,
Foster Youth Services


Phone: (650) 802-5435

Renee Vorrises, MSW, PPS

Educational Liaison,
Foster Youth Services


Phone: (650) 802-5436

Lauren Sneed

School Counselor/Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program -Hillcrest, Kemp, Canyon Oaks and Community School


Phone: (650) 312-5323