The beginning of term can be difficult for a lot of people, but particularly foster children who often have to deal with the trauma of being taken away from their family, friends and everything they are used to.
You might have managed to get through the first few days of the school year, but after the novelty wears off, the new shoes start to mark and half the contents of the pencil case has gone missing, reality can set in.
This can result in foster children refusing to attend school, struggling to make friends, and not doing their homework. While their apprehension of a new setting is justifiable, these problems can result in even lower self-esteem in the long-run.
Therefore, it is essential to start the new year in the best way possible.
Set a solid routine
Children who have been in and out of care often suffer from a lack of structure in their lives. That is why establishing a solid routine could be really helpful.
Create a schedule with them for getting ready in the morning, and what will happen after school. Include how they will get there and back, who will go in the bathroom first, what time they should leave, and when they are expected home.
Making every day the same will relieve some anxiety about going to a new setting.
Build a relationship with school
As a foster agency carer, you should build a relationship with the school. Let them know the difficulties the child is facing and when days are particularly tough.
Students should be confident they can find as much support in school as they can at home.
Help them to make friends
Although older children will want to establish friendship groups on their own, there are things you can do to assist them.
You could enrol them in extra-curricular activities, which would also give them something positive to look forward to; invite some pals over; and give them advice on how to maintain relationships, as they might not be experienced with this.
Support them with their school career
Although you may feel as though school was another lifetime ago, it is worth trying to help them with their homework. Even just sitting with them and talking about it will make them feel cared for.
It can also have a big impact on their education, which will boost their self-esteem and help make school attendance easier.