Equipping caregivers through Advocacy Workshops
Children who come into foster care almost always have complex needs as a result of the trauma that they have experienced. Often times, children can exhibit behaviors at home and at school as a result of this trauma and how it affects the brain. But these behaviors are often mistaken as bad and needing discipline. There are many supports available to foster parents through the special education system and the behavioral health system. However, foster parents can feel overwhelmed and confused by the process necessary to obtain this support.
Our Advocacy Workshop will give you an overview of the special education process and help you identify what supports might be available to your child at school. We will offer suggestions on what supports are available to you through the behavioral health system at no cost to you.
The goal of our workshops are for you (the parent or guardian) to walk away with an understanding of how to advocate for your child.
Advocating for the educational needs of children impacted by foster care
One on one advocacy services are designed to support and empower you to meet the holistic needs of your child. Advocates know the special education laws and represent the needs of your child accordingly. They will review records, meet with you and your family to discuss needs, attend meetings, and stay in contact with the school and district on your behalf. Our goal is to get the appropriate evaluations and services in place to support your child.
SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
Many children coming from foster care have complex and “unseen” needs and can qualify for special education. The first step is to request an evaluation, known as the MET. If a child qualifies for special education based on the results of the evaluation, then an Individualized Education Plan (or IEP) will be developed to meet the unique needs of this child.
Examples of things that might qualify them for special education are a diagnosis of ADHD; PTSD; dyslexia; difficulty with core subjects such as reading, writing, and math; developmental delays; speech delays; and social and emotional delays.
A great website for more information is azfamilyresources.org/education.