I have been doing some work in schools recently with looked after children and their foster carers and am shocked and amazed by how much we expect these children to manage. Looked after children have usually experienced living with chaos, neglect and trauma to varying degrees hence them being in care. They may also have experienced living with chaos and unpredictability and had to manage several changes.
Why and how are we then expecting them to manage changing schools, changing foster carers, saying good bye to siblings who are being adopted who they will never see again, seeing parents sporadically at contact visits…….AND being surprised at some of them finding it hard to focus and engage with their learning!
How many of us as adults could manage any of this and still be performing well at work? We need to work hard at acknowledging, understanding and supporting these children to ensure that their experience in schools and elsewhere does not add to their experience of trauma.