Any of us who are parents know how much we want to protect our kids, advocate for them and ensure they love school, have friends, learn lots, and do their best! As a carer, this is so heightened because I am worried about my child’s story (who needs to know and who doesn’t), what my child could say about their birth family or us, wanting to protect them from any labels, worried about their emotional regulation, worried about them hurting themselves and others, wanting everyone to understand their trauma, but also know not everyone needs to know, and just wanting them to have the same opportunities as every other child at childhood, fun, and discovering the world!
Our children’s stories are their stories, confidentiality and protecting them and their parents can sometimes be a stumbling block in supporting them. We don’t need it to be.
Teachers and carers need to be a team. It is my role as a carer to,
Let you know if my child has any diagonises and medical needs
What my child’s trauma triggers are
What the signs are if my child is escalating and what works at home, childcare, other environments and what doesn’t work
How my child is with eating food and drinking water. Any foods to avoid (if food is shared)
How often my child sees his or her birth family and let you know the day before and after this happens, so we can support the child in class
What other adults are part of my child’s life – child safety officer, allied health workers, birth family members, etc
How my child refers to me and my family members and their birth family – ‘mum’, ‘dad’ etc and if this could be a trigger around mother’s day and father’s day or other significant days.
Any change in routine or behaviour at home that may impact behaviour at school
It is really helpful if you tell us what you notice at school. There may be trauma triggers we are unaware of, behaviours we don’t see at home etc.
Each child in care has a ‘care team’ around them facilitated by a child’s Child Safety Officer. The team consists of the significant adults in our child’s life. You may be asked to be part of this team or contribute to it so we can make holistic decisions.
We know this can sound overwhelming and heavy, but hopefully a good team can mean we are proactive and supportive so our child can have the best school year!