Thursday’s Fostering Blog
One issue we have faced many times is getting childcare for Alice. Anyone who looks after her for us needs to be approved by social services. Getting last-minute childcare is therefore sometimes impossible. Today was one of those times. It was Alice’s parents evening and because we did not have childcare we needed to take Alice with us.
This has not been a problem in the past. At Alice’s last school, the head teacher ensured there were enough teaching assistance around to keep the children occupied whilst parents talked with the class teachers. It is not the case at Alice’s new school and whilst there were many children with their parents we realised we should have perhaps made more of an effort to get childcare.
After a fairly short time waiting in the queue we were called forward to speak to Alice’s class teachers. Her main class teacher leaned forward and said “Alice why don’t you tell mum and dad how your getting on at school” Alice went on to tell us how brilliant she is doing at school. Both teachers said how fabulous she was getting on and how her reading and writing has both improved dramatically. They were pleased too, with how better her concentration levels are. I felt a little confused, it has not been long since her individual education plan (IEP) was put in place and this was not the picture given at that point. Charlie and I with Alice went to her classroom to look at her work. Charlie was particularly surprised at the lack of work in her books. He then glanced at the books of the child in the next seat to Alice. The difference was quite stark. This was a much better picture of how Alice is really doing and of the huge gulf between her and her peers. It is helpful to know that she has settled and is improving but we certainly felt like we had not been given the true picture of where she is really at academically.
Unlike the relationship between parents and school the relationship between foster parents and school is quite different. We are working in partnership with school and with Alice’s legal parents social services. It is far more helpful to get the picture of where the gaps are so that we can work together to make sure they are filled. I think we better get more organised with child care next time!
A Less Ordinary Family Foster Care Blog