Do you have a foster child who is nervous about starting another year of school? Knowing how to help your foster child through a time like this can be difficult. RISE Services, Inc. Oregon works with host home families and foster children, supporting them through different seasons, including back-to-school. Our priority is to help you and your foster child begin the school year successfully. Here are three ways to help your foster child settle into another school year.
1. Talk About Any Concerns or Worries
The back-to-school season can make any student nervous, but it can be especially nerve-wracking for a child in foster care. They may be attending a different school or district than the year before. Perhaps they don’t want friends to know they’re no longer living at home and are in foster care. Whatever their reasons, be sure to validate their feelings and let them express their frustrations and fears freely. Reassure your foster child that you are there to encourage and support them however they need.
2. Go Shopping for Clothes & Supplies
Make back-to-school fun for you and your foster child by planning a day to shop for school clothes and supplies. Before heading out, check the school website for recommended school supplies. Let them choose a new backpack, lunch bag, and some new school outfits if your budget allows. Purchase fun school supplies like colored markers, assorted crayon packs, silly erasers, and vibrant pencils. Make it special by getting dinner or ice cream after a full shopping day.
3. Review the School Routine Together
Create a new school routine and review it often before school begins. If your foster child feels prepared for school, they may feel more comfortable and less nervous on that first day. Be sure to personalize the new school day routine to your foster child’s preferences. Maybe they want to decorate it with their favorite stickers and hang it on the fridge. Including a reward at the end of each week may be helpful if they follow their schedule and complete all their homework. It doesn’t have to be perfect; simply find what works best for your foster child and family.
Become a Host Home with RISE
RISE Oregon licenses and supports host homes for foster children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Contact us today to learn more about our host home program and how you can offer foster children a safe and caring home setting. Impact a child’s life by using your heart, home, and skills to make a difference.
Source: “Five Ways to Prepare Your Foster Child for Going Back to School.” Web article. News from Wheeler. Wheeler Clinic, 06 Aug. 2021. Web. 06 Aug. 2023.