Education is a fundamental part of becoming an adult, but many foster children have a negative relationship with it. Fortunately, foster carers are in the perfect position to make changes by encouraging engagement with education. Below, we’ve put together a series of strategies for influencing positive and healthy foster child relationships with education.
Create a Loving and Supportive Environment
When you receive training from the likes of Orange Grove Foster Care, you’ll be taught about how important a supportive and loving home is to foster children, and it’s especially true when it comes to engaging them in education. Here are a few tactics you can use to fulfil this need:
- Build a strong relationship with foster children: Spend one-on-one time with your foster children to learn about their hobbies, interests, and needs.
- Stand up for any educational needs: Speak to relevant school staff to ensure educational needs are being met.
- Implement stability and routine: Being placed into foster care often introduces instability in a child’s life, so build an effective routine to provide stability.
- Be encouraging: Tell your foster children that you believe in them; a much-needed confidence boost will make all the difference.
Liaise with School Teachers
School teachers are a key ingredient when it comes to a child’s education, so make an effort to build a positive rapport with them. This relationship is beneficial for yourself and the teacher; you can provide insights into educational needs and teachers will tell you about progression and potential needs at home.
Be Actively Involved in Your Foster Children’s Education
Encourage foster children to engage with education by being actively involved. This means expressing an interest in their schoolwork, supporting them with homework, and attending events at school. The following tips will help you become more involved in your foster child’s education:
- Attend parents’ evening and other events.
- Ask your foster children about their school day.
- Set time aside for homework and be available to help out.
- Work with teachers to create education plans.
When a foster child has a role model who is clearly interested in their education, they’re more likely to start forming a positive relationship with education.
Set High Expectations and Reward All Achievements
Rewarding all achievements, no matter how big or small, and setting high expectations will show foster children that you have faith in them, which will help to nurture confidence and a sense of self-worth. The first step in this process is communicating your expectations clearly in terms of school work.
With your expectations laid out clearly, you can use rewards to encourage foster children to engage with their education. Whenever a foster child achieves something, reinforce it with a positive verbal comment or a reward, but make sure you tell them why they’re being rewarded.
Many foster children have negative relationships with education, which means they may not want to engage in school, homework, or any other activities. As a foster carer, you’ve got the tools at your disposal to shine a positive light on education, which may stay with your foster children forever.