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Success in School T


oday’s society is a busy one. It seems that all working adults are busy. Perhaps busy is not the correct word.


Perhaps a better word might be overwhelmed. As more and more organizations face the stark reality of budget cuts and funding issues and reduced hours for many government and private sector employees, there do not seem to be enough hours in the day to accomplish all the needs to be attended to. Indeed, foster pa


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p rents, caseworkers and teachers all face tht e same dilemma; they are underresourced, u


underpaid, overworked and overwhelmed. A


A successful working relationship and collaboration may not exist between public s


schools, foster parents, birth parents and child welfare agencies. Consequently, foster children do not receive the services they require in order to be successful. Yet, education is ci


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onsidered crucially important and vital for many foster children in regard to the quality of life they wish to have in their adult life. Sadly, many students in foster care are not getting the necessary support they need from their foster parents, caseworkers and school employees. Without this support, the student is almost destined to fail in academics, and struggle with behavioral issues.


In spite of this, all three sets of adult support groups grapple with figuring out how to best help these troubled children, all to the detriment of the child in need. School social workers, in general, have been ineffective in meeting the needs of those students who are foster children, yet the need is growing for these school employees to do so, as the population of foster children continues to escalate. Some caseworkers have, in the past, also neglected the school life of foster children, and ignored educational policies


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38 FOSTERING F AMILIES TODA Y I JUL Y/AUGUST 2015 I WWW .FOSTERINGF AMILIESTODA Y .COM


feature BY JOHN DeGARMO, ED.D.


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