Receiving a good education and having the chance to do fun, constructive activities are two things all children deserve. Foster children may have, sadly, missed out on parts of these vital factors to growing up, so it’s important these needs are met during their time in foster care.
Anglicare Victoria is proud to be supporting education and encouraging extracurricular activities for foster children in a variety of ways. Foster carers at Anglicare Victoria are well-trained about the importance of learning and play when it comes to foster children.
Let’s look at why it’s so vital to support the education and extracurricular activities of foster children, and what you can do to make a difference:
Education for foster children
For quite some time, research has indicated that foster children often face educational disadvantages. A study in Washington, United States, for example, showed that foster youth are twice as likely to repeat a year in school than non-foster children.
Role of foster carers in the education of foster kids
The good news is that you, as a foster carer, have the potential to make a positive impact on the education of a foster child. With help from the child’s teacher/s, principal and case worker, you’ll be able to identify the child’s educational needs and give them the learning environment they deserve.
A foster carer has many roles in ensuring and contributing to the quality of education a foster child receives:
- Monitoring: It’s important that a foster carer monitors the impact of learning on the child and makes notes to track the progress of the child’s education. Each student’s case is reviewed at least annually, in which records and data specific to the child’s learning achievements, attendance, behaviour, health and communication is discussed.
- Communicating: Foster carers are expected to communicate any useful information to the child’s teacher and principal, helping them make a better impact on the child’s ability to learn.
- Getting involved: Getting to know your foster child’s friends and the parents of those friends is another big way to make an impact on their education. It shows that you’re actively involved in their school environment and are supporting their interests.
- Meetings: Parent-teacher meetings are an excellent way to keep both teachers and parents informed about how foster children are progressing, helping everyone ensure the child’s needs are being met.
- Transport: As a foster carer, it’s your duty to ensure the child is attending regularly and has a safe mode of transport to and from school.
- Homework: Helping with homework is another huge way to support your foster child’s learning development. Being there to answer questions when they’re having trouble grasping something is a positive way to encourage learning and show support.
Extracurricular activities for foster children
All kids need ways to stimulate their sense of play, and do things that fulfil them in a constructive manner. Extracurricular activities are so important to encourage in foster kids. These could include a range of things such as:
- Sport: Sport is a healthy outlet for all the energy pent-up in young children. Outside of physical benefits, it can also instil in children a sense of determination and teamwork.
- Reading together: Reading is a great way to bond with your foster child while advancing their literacy skills. Taking in turns to read a page exercises both listening and reading skills.
- Day trips: Trips to museums, cinemas and art galleries can all help young people achieve better educational outcomes too, so it’s your role as a foster carer to support a foster child in this way.
Contact your local agency today
If you’re passionate about making a significant impact in the community, Anglicare Victoria is here to guide you on the rewarding journey of foster care. Our mission is to empower and support children who’ve had a tough start to life by giving them safe, loving foster homes all over Victoria. If you’re interested in becoming a foster carer, contact our Carer Recruitment Team and enquire about applying today.