Foster Care Transition Considerations for School Counselors

Foster Care Transition Considerations for School Counselors

Notashia P. Crenshaw-Williams
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-9514-5.ch012
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Although school counselors have the ability to directly impact the academic, social/emotional, and career development of students, they may be unfamiliar with the unique experiences and educational barriers of foster care youth. School counselors must be knowledgeable about the unique challenges faced by students in foster care in order to be transformational leaders. This chapter presents background information about the foster care system, addresses considerations for students transitioning through and out of foster care, highlights transition pathways, and explores implications for school counselors working with this population.
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Foster care is a temporary arrangement for children who are removed from their home by child protective services, by a juvenile court judge, or by parents or guardians who voluntarily turn their children over to children’s services when they can no longer care for them (Badeua & Gesiriech, 2003). When the removal of a child from their home is necessary, it is usually due to drug exposure, sex abuse, physical abuse, medical neglect, environmental neglect, or similar offenses.

Several options for placement exist for children in foster care. A foster home is a single family of one or two parents who care for up to six children (to include their biological and adoptive children). Another type of placement is a group home. Previously, group homes were often called out for accusations of child abuse. Currently, they are better regulated and monitored than what they were in the past. The third placement is called kinship. Kinship care is when children have to be removed from their home and are placed with a relative or people who know the child before they are removed from their home. The kinship foster care placement receives financial, informational, and tangible support to assist the family and to reduce trauma for the child.

Regardless of the placement type, there are some guiding principles which impact service delivery:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Collaboration: Entities working together to complete a common goal.

Family Service Worker: A case manager assigned to the youth to ensure that the child and family’s needs are being met.

Transition: A period of changing from one developmental milestone to another.

Trust: A person or thing in which confidence and faith is placed in.

Independent Living Skills: Skills that will help a person to adapt and function well in adult life.

Foster Care: A government system that works with children that have been removed from the families and placed in kinship placement, residential, group homes, or therapeutic homes.

School Counselor: Counseling professional who works with students to address social/ emotional, developmental, and academic needs.

Aging Out: A youth turning 18 years of age and is able to legally leave the foster care system.

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