Foster Children in Education: Resource Handbook for Elementary Educators
Zmiyiwsky, Mira Anna
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This project is aligned with examining the role of the education system and the foster care context on the learning experiences of young children in the classroom. This project is a study of the literature and research conducted on the life experiences, adverse effects of these experiences (such as attachment disorder), socioemotional development, and resiliency of foster care children. Furthermore, the project explores the literature on how the experiences of these foster children traverse contexts and impact the education setting. This study also outlines specific strategies and practices for teachers and school staff in order to promote students’ resiliency, competency, behaviour management, and overall educational success and positive academic experience. These strategies resulted from a critical review of the literature and translated into the development of an informative handbook intended for teachers. The handbook developed in this study focuses on the understanding of the lives of foster care children, their histories, adverse experiences, socioemotional development, strategies to manage behaviour, unique needs, and encouraging their resiliency and success in school. To ensure the soundness of the handbook, 2 education liaisons at a Family and Child Services agency within Ontario and a former child and service social worker from Manitoba reviewed the first draft and provided comments on the validity of the content and the potential usability of the handbook for educators. Suggestions and comments provided by these experts were used to enhance the final product of the handbook.