May 2019 Foster Care Special Edition



these three qualities in a child will drastically increase their ability to succeed at home and in

the classroom.


Children who have experienced trauma need time to process what has happened in their lives.

Something has happened to them that has caused them to be removed from their family and

start a lot of



this takes time

to come to terms

with and the

new adults in

their lives need

to comprehend

that these

children are not

going to jump in

and be okay


Students from a

traumatic background typically come from inconsistency and chaos. By having consistent

routines that are applicable to all students, you will bring a sense of normalcy back to the

student’s life. Along with these types of expectations, students will also need to see fairness

and follow through. Consequences need to be the most consistent system in your classroom

and in your home. Very simply put, “if this happens then this happens,” and it needs to happen

every time. If some students receive a consequence while others do not, you will not be

providing a consistent environment that promotes normalcy. However, the most consistent

thing about education and life in general, is inconsistency.

Things happen during the school day and in life that cause schedules and routines to change.

One thing you can do to help students who have experienced trauma to cope with these

variations is to communicate them clearly. Remember, children who are in foster care come

from chaos, so much that inconsistencies have become their normal. This is the main barrier

between them developing healthy, positive relationships with the adults in their lives. By


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