“I’m Sorry, We Can’t Share That Information With You”: IEP Advice for Foster Parents (Part 2)

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There are many laws and practices that exist in the world that cause never-ending frustrations for the people who find themselves in the middle of those circumstances. Those laws and practices have been established for very legitimate reasons. More often than not, it is because at some point someone decided to take advantage of his or her liberties. As a result, a rule had to be put in place to keep others from doing the same thing. Regardless of the fact that we may understand the logic behind such regulations, it doesn’t make them any easier to digest when we find ourselves faced with the limitations of such restrictions.

“In order to lessen this frustration, speak openly with the school’s administration, social workers, etc.”

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I can imagine this is what it is like when you as foster parents sit in an IEP meeting about your child. While you have a right to be there and are encouraged to attend, there are different types of information you are not privy to because it is considered confidential. Last week I mentioned that a child’s biological parents can retain certain rights unless they have clearly severed them. Even when biological parents have cut all rights, most children are considered to be in the custody of the state. Thus, you as foster parents don’t have rights to certain confidential information.

“You will make some decisions that backfire because of missing information, but recognize you are doing the best you can and are providing a great environment for your child to learn and grow.”

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Yes, this is frustrating, but it is simply the reality of what you are facing. In order to lessen this frustration, speak openly with the school’s administration, social workers, etc. They will share with you as much information as they can on the child’s progress and behavior at school. Understand that there will be limitations to the information you get, but do the very best with whatever information you can receive. Recognize how you can use what you know to set up the best practices in your home that will help your child be successful. Give yourself grace and forgiveness. You will make some decisions that backfire because of missing information, but recognize you are doing the best you can and are providing a great environment for your child to learn and grow.

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