Emma’s Fostering Blog.
There are a number of challenges working with many mainstream Schools, there is not enough support or understanding. There seems to be a lack of clarity about roles, a lack of information sharing and poor communication and this can be really difficult when we have a child who is not achieving.
Foster carers are the experts too, and we need to be included, working together as part of the team as we know our Foster children. Team work is the key to securing the best outcomes to improve the education of ‘Looked After’ children. These are vulnerable children, and in most cases can’t control their behaviour and they find it harder to do well in school, so sometimes ‘act out’ as a result.
Hannah is 7 years old, vulnerable, high need and a deeply traumatised child who has lived with us for a year, to fully support and champion her I need to be kept closely informed about her progress and achievements. I want my input and opinions to be heard and responded to, and Hannah needs to be listened to and supported to achieve. Hannah is now 8 – The gap is widening between Hannah and her peers, the behaviours are escalating. Now she is disrupting the class by spoiling children’s work and struggling with her maths, reading and writing.
School have given her extra support, however it seems, instead of encouraging Hannah to have a go at doing the work herself, they are now doing it for her and I was horrified to hear they are managing the behaviour by keeping her segregated from her peers, it now feels from them as if there is a stigma around her behaviour, as if ‘they expect it from her’ as she is a ‘Looked After’ child.
On many occasions I have raised concerns with School and her Social worker but no one is really listening to me, so I have decided to get an advocate for Hannah to fight on her behalf, as I fear it may get worse. The advocate was great she really listened and supported us as it took two years to get this assessment because school had so little information noted and we needed evidence documented so they had to start from scratch.
She had a full educational assessment, and just as I thought it was more than behavioural issues, she had significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age in her class. Hannah is now 10 – I was right to fight, because Hannah has special educational needs, she now attends the right School and she has an Educational Health Care Plan.
My thoughts are Hannah is happy, the behaviours have decreased and I feel happier knowing she is being supported, and to hear a child say they are good at certain things is a joy when they have always struggled.
Emma – A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!