Today’s guest post was written by Gina Ponce. If you are interested in submitting a guest post, here is how.
Tips For Parents Preparing For the School Year After/During a Foster Adoption
It happens every year – summer vacation flies by, and before you know it, it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming school year again. Let’s be honest – we ALL look forward to the structure and mental break that the school year brings, but preparing for the kids to go back to school can put any parent in a frenzy. But this is especially true if you’ve recently finalized or are currently going through a foster adoption. Trying to make all the necessary adjustments that go along with that process while trying to master the back to school routine at the same time can feel overwhelming to you and the children involved. With all kinds of changes going on in your household, it helps to follow the tips below to make sure you have everything organized and ready to go when the first day of school arrives.
Make Sure You Have All the Necessary Paperwork
If you’ve never been a secretary before, prepare to be one now! Just as you would with a biological child, you’ll need to ensure you have all the paperwork that schools need for enrollment. The difference is, you might not have some of the documents readily accessible to you for an adopted child, so it’s best to look at your school’s checklist ahead of time and start requesting each item you don’t already have. This includes immunization records, past school information, social security numbers, their social worker’s contact details and the names and numbers of emergency contacts.
Familiarize Yourself With Any Educational Needs
Oftentimes, children coming out of foster care need some extra help when it comes to academics and behavior in the classroom in order to excel at their studies. Familiarize yourself with educational needs that may have been previously determined, and take note of any signs that indicate further testing would be helpful. Putting a plan into action early on will decrease the possibility of hindrances occurring due to learning disabilities or problematic behaviors.
Take a Tour of the School
There will naturally be a lot of emotions flying around after a foster adoption, but you can alleviate some of the worry your child will have about their new school by taking them on a tour before their first day. Introduce them to the grounds and various classrooms, practice their locker combination until they have it down and make certain they feel comfortable with their route to and from school, whether they’ll be riding the bus, walking or carpooling.
Meet With Teachers As Soon As Possible
Filling teachers in on your unique family dynamic can go a long way in helping them to understand your child and their background a little better. If challenges should arise, it’s good for teachers to know that you are an involved parent and willing to work with them on finding solutions that will ultimately be in the best interest of the child.
Look For Foster Care Donation Opportunities
There are quite a few things that typically need to be purchased at the beginning of the school year, and it can add up to be a large expense. Many communities have programs or hold special events for those in need of backpacks, clothing and school supplies. If you could use some help financially after opening your home to another family member, don’t hesitate to use the resources available to you.
Talk About Extracurricular Activities and Build Excitement
School should be something children look forward to and get excited about. You can make this a reality by encouraging them to do some research on the different extracurricular activities that the school has to offer and engage in something that really captures their interest – art, music, sports, philanthropic endeavors, etc.
Transitioning into a new family after a foster adoption can be difficult for everyone, but you can make it a little easier by successfully preparing for the school year ahead. And who knows, it might be an awesome experience for your new family!
Gina Ponce is a writer and blogger from Redding, CA – an area overpopulated with children desperately hoping for healthy families to foster and adopt them. Through her work with Children First FFA, Gina enjoys educating people on the power of serving children in need.
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