The government has recently released a proposal plan to improve social care, by putting strong relationships at the heart of the care system. This means that they’ll be focusing on educating families when they are struggling, and prioritising kinship care over foster care, whenever possible, to give children a chance to be raised by relatives or close family members that they know and trust.
The impact on schools
The initiative will also be focusing on not taking children away from their familiar settings, and instead keeping them in the same neighbourhood or school whenever possible, to avoid the stress that would usually come with moving away. This gives schools a very important responsibility, which is to become a support system for these children and be the place where they can find a sense of security and stability among the many changes occurring in their lifestyles.
Actions for your school to take
If any of your pupils are in social care or you’re aware of any struggles their families are experiencing, you should treat these instances delicately and discreetly. It’s important that your staff don’t treat these children any differently in front of others, and at the same time offer them the appropriate support if they need it. For example, make sure that a teacher they know and trust schedules regular check-ins and 1:1s with them.
Clear communication is also something that can really make a difference in the children’s upbringing and school journey. Ensure you communicate your requirements, announcements, and events with parents and guardians, and send multiple reminders if necessary. Some instances would include urgent homework assignments, your upcoming parents’ evening, or emergency school closures. For any instances such as split up parents or social carers, make sure to deliver any announcements to multiple contacts – our communications tools can help with this. Remember not all parents and guardians may have access to text messages or emails, so make sure to take the appropriate measures to deliver any communications to them too.
Another good idea to keep these parents and guardians engaged with their children’s school path is to get them involved in afternoon activities or PTA meetings. Always remember to handle these situations delicately and with patience, be understanding and nurturing towards these families that may be struggling.
If you’d like to find out more about the initiative, you can find it here on the government’s website.