Tips for a smooth start to the school year

Tips for a smooth start to the school year

A new school year can be exciting but also daunting. For children in foster care or kinship care going back to school can bring additional challenges.

Often children that come into foster care or kinship care either change schools or return to their schools but with a different primary carer. This time can be difficult for young people as they get to get to know their teachers and classmates, or try to figure out who knows that they are no longer living at home.

Hayley Robinette, from Baptcare’s foster and kinship care team, has the following advice for carers and school staff:

  • Talk to the child about who will be told about their change in circumstances.
  • Communicate that information about their situation is confidential and won't be shared with other people.
  • Help them to feel as calm and organised as possible, for example, help to get them to and from school, help them to navigate any challenges at school and support them at home.
  • Let them know that you are keen to learn about their experience of school but will be patient are interested to hear what they want to share, when they are ready.
  • If you have any questions talk to the child's foster or kinship care worker for support and advice.

"Education is a right and paramount for all children and we all have a role in supporting a child on their educational journey," says Hayley.

If you are thinking about whether you have a place for a child in need you can read more and get answers to frequently asked questions at Become a foster carer

Baptcare is looking for carers in Melbourne's western and inner northern suburbs. Call 13 22 78 (13 BAPTCARE) to find out more.

If you live elsewhere visit Fostering Connections or call 1800 013 088 to find a foster care agency in your area.