The Tip of the Iceburg – IEP Advice for Foster Parents (Part 1)

tip-of-iceburg-iep-foster-parent-tips-banner

Over the last few days I have spent some time trying to better understand the role of foster parents in a student’s educational life. What I have found, unfortunately, is a lot more questions than answers. Foster care and adoption is somewhat of a new area for me. I teach English as a Second Language to middle school students. While there are many similarities between the needs of these parents and students, the role of foster parents is an area all of its own. One that I feel may be underserved and one that I am seeing is incredibly difficult to navigate.

“One of those obstacles is the fact that in many instances the biological parent(s) still have educational rights.”

After talking with a few colleagues, I began to recognize a few (of I’m sure, many) obstacles that really hinder foster parents from truly being involved in the decision making and planning for their child’s educational needs. One of those obstacles is the fact that in many instances the biological parent(s) still have educational rights. This means that even if certain other rights have been terminated, the parents could still have the right to make educational choices. This would pertain to IEP (Individual Educational Plan) meetings, disciplinary hearings, or any other official meeting/decisions.

“This can cause a great amount of frustration for foster parents who are caring for the child and making many decisions on behalf of the well-being of the child…”

calming-down-after-a-fight-friend-adoption-foster-care

Unless it has been documented in the student’s cumulative record in the school building, school personnel must do their due diligence to contact the biological parents for meetings, decisions, signatures, etc. This can go as far as making home visits for paperwork to be signed or drawn out attempts to contact and request the biological parents cooperation. This can cause a great amount of frustration for foster parents who are caring for the child and making many decisions on behalf of the well-being of the child, but have no rights to make decisions for their educational well-being. Furthermore, because biological parents retain educational rights, foster parents are not privy to any confidential information.

“Over the next few weeks I will help you dig further into what you CAN do as foster parents to help guide your child(ren) through the school system and help them get the resources and services they need to help them be the most successful.”

Over the next few weeks I will help you dig further into what you CAN do as foster parents to help guide your child(ren) through the school system and help them get the resources and services they need to help them be the most successful. As I go through this, feel free to comment or e-mail me specific questions or situations that I can help you explore. I will tell you up front, I don’t have all of the answers, but I do commit to helping however I possibly can by pointing you to resources and helping you navigate doing what is best for the children in your care.


Send in your questions, stories and comments below or to:

info@transfiguringadoption.com

[Tune in Next Week for Part 2]


tip-of-iceburg-iep-foster-parent-tips-social-media

Leave a Reply