Education Of Children In Foster Care: How Can A Teacher Be Of Help?


Every child requires a good education, be safe, healthy and fit, and enjoy a good and positive environment at home and school to grow up to be an individual who has much to contribute to the society.

This will also help them acquire a job, be independent and become financially stable. Just like any other child a child placed in foster care also deserves all these rights to become the best he/she can be.

Almost all of the foster children struggle because by the time they become adjusted to a new family, friends and to the routines of a new home and school environment it will be time for them to move to the next place.

Being pulled out of a school during the middle of the year could be really difficult as they have to get adjusted quickly to a new school, classmates and classrooms. The routines and teaching methods could also be different. If you are wondering about how you can help a foster child, this will answer some of your questions.

One of the greatest things you can do for these children as their teacher is to make them feel comfortable and at ease. Here are some of the things that you need to consider while teaching children from foster care.

Understand The Child’s Background

To understand the child’s specific problems, abilities and needs you need to have an understanding of his/her background. This will help the teacher understand why the child behaves in a particular way or why the child finds it really difficult to socialize with others. The teacher can, in turn, give them the support and motivation to improve their behavioral skills and academic performance.

However, there are several cases where the law prevents these children’s background information from being shared for protecting the child or for confidential reasons. In such cases, the teachers can approach the foster parents to get an understanding of the kind of help the teachers can offer these children.

School Is Not A Place They Want To Be In

Most of the children placed in foster care have suffered from years of neglect and abuse and their only concern is to somehow survive. Moving from place to place, from home to home and living apart from their loved ones is extremely difficult for these children and they need to learn to survive in all these situations.

Unlike the other children getting good grades and performing well in school is least of their priorities and most of them struggle to keep up with the other children in school. Teachers need to understand this difficulty and make the environment in the classroom much easier for foster children. They also need to make learning as easy and interesting as possible to help these children improve their performance in school.

They Don’t Trust Adults Easily

Most of the foster children find it difficult to trust an adult due to the harsh circumstances they have been in. Many of these children have faced verbal, physical and sexual abuse from adults causing them to be afraid of them. To build a healthy relationship with these kids the teachers need to gain their confidence by dealing with them patiently. As their teacher, you are required to love, care for and motivate them by trying to understand why they behave the way they do.

Flexibility In Academic Responsibilities

Being flexible with the homework, due dates of assignments and presentations as well as taking a class test can be of great help to the children in foster care and their foster parents. As these children struggle with several emotional and personal issues certain evenings at home could end up being really difficult for them.

If these dates are close to the days of visiting their biological parents or siblings or visiting a loved one in prison they could be going through a lot of anxiety and stress causing them to neglect their school work. Trying to understand the foster child’s situation and being flexible with their school responsibilities will help these children improve their performance in school.

Just like any children, a foster child also spends most of their time for five days a week in school. This could be from somewhere around eight to ten hours every day. This means children spend more time with their teachers than with the foster parents during the weekdays. Considering these children feel alone, insecure and different the teachers and school authorities need to put in extra time and effort to motivate and encourage these children and to build their levels of confidence and to better their performance.


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