With school back in session, there are additional supports that children and youth in foster care can benefit from. All students can benefit from softer transitioning and preparatory support to ease out of summertime and in to schooltime, however, those who are in out-of-home placements can have more difficulty acclimating to their new school routines.
According to Dr. John DeGarmo, a leading foster care expert, there are specific areas where caregivers can assist children and youth in their transition back into school:
- Create and maintain close communications with teachers and school staff. This can allow school staff to form relationships with you and understand your expectations for your youth. When relationships are in place, teachers and staff are more likely to keep you abreast of the child’s day-to-day successes and challenges.
- Ensure your youth has enough educational supports in place, such as tutors, online supports, and appropriate school supplies.
- Offer continued support and patience if your youth begins to struggle. When youth are concerned about their family or siblings, concentrating on schoolwork can be very difficult. Your patience can help them through these times.
- Seek the need behind the behaviors when your child begins to act out in school. Address more than just the behavior.
In addition, you can help the kids in your care by understanding and advocating for their educational rights. Use the Foster Care Educational Rights Fact Sheet to ensure that your children and youth are receiving all the supports they are entitled to.
Source: DeGarmo, J. (2015). Helping foster children in school: A guide for foster parents, social workers and teachers. Jessica Kinsley Publishers.