It’s important to go to school every day, but children with out-of-home care are missing out

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Consistent school attendance is important in any child’s education, but for many children who care outside the home, going to school every day is not an easy task.

There are three main types Out-of-home care Australia: Relative (or relative) care, Nursing homeWhen Residential care (Small group home). Children and adolescents who are unable to live safely at home due to the risk of abuse or neglect are taken away and cared for by the states and territories. Child Protection service.

In June 2020, there were 35,717 people. School-aged children (5-17 years old) Under care in Australia.40% (14,444) of these Indigenous children..

Studies show regularly school Attendance is very important Academic performance..

Unfortunately, child When it comes to going to school every day, care outside the home faces a myriad of challenges.

What is the education of the children you care for?

Evidence shows that these caring students often have negative experiences at school, resulting in poorer academic performance than their peers.

for example:

  • 82% of students receiving third grade care NAPLAN-Reading, Compared to 95% nationwide. By the 9th year, it will drop to 69% (compared to 93%)
  • Eighty-one percent of students receiving third-year care NAPLAN-Numeric, Compared to 96% nationwide. By the 9th year, it will drop to 61% (compared to 93%)
  • 57% of Young careiever (18-25 years old) Completed the 12th year or equivalent, National average 85%..

What are the problems and unfair consequences?

These young people are tackling the effects of trauma and placement instability. However, schools often lack the expertise to support them.

Imagine what it would be like to attend 5 or more elementary schools.. Imagine having to get used to a new teacher over and over again. Address new approaches to learning, new rules, new classmates. You always have to catch up with what you are missing. It is considered as a child “behind”.

Children of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who take care of them are also at risk of being separated from their culture and relatives.

COVID-19 caused and exacerbated the problem. School closure Made school more difficult. The uncertainty of COVID-19 may have increased placement instability, school mobility, and economic and social stressors.

Quality education is essential for well-being and development. Improving the educational outcomes of caring students is of great benefit to them. But it also benefits Australian society — for current and future generations.

Attendance is basic

Regular attendance Academic performance..

Taking a break from school can have adverse effects such as leaving school early, poor academic performance, and social isolation. Even short absenteeism, including officially permitted absenteeism such as illness, can make it more difficult for a child to catch up.

The effect is cumulative. Every time I miss more student..

Experiences that make school difficult for caring children and adolescents (such as trauma and frequent transfers to new care facilities or schools) can also lead to lower attendance rates. Statistics tell a disturbing story:

The average number of days absent from each semester Double for students taking care There are substantive concerns about the state’s child protection authorities. 7 days, compared to 3.4 days for uncared students. Demonstrated concerns mean that reports on child / youth safety have been investigated by caseworkers and found to be at risk of serious harm.

Suspension also means students Miss school..According to South Australian data, almost all students in long-term care have been suspended from school. 4 times higher: 23% vs. 6% for all students.

Best data available about absence When suspension Originally from South Australia, there is no reason to believe that it is very different in other jurisdictions.

They have shown to improve the outcomes of caring children.

Young people caring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders children are at a double disadvantage.For example, in a review of 1,000 cases Victoria, 30.5% were suspended from secondary school. It was 11.4% in elementary school.

What can i do?

Behind these numbers is a complex challenge.

It’s not the fault of these young people. They did not choose to take care, or their lives would be characterized by confusion and trauma.

Also, you should not blame the school or teachers.

Frequent absences of caring children are a system problem beyond the responsibility of individual schools.

We know about these issues Long time.. But now, some policy commitments are bringing hope.

2019 Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration Name “outside learnerHome care“As a group that needs targeted support.

2020 National agreement to fill the gap It emphasizes attendance at school as an important impetus to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders students “achieve full learning potential.”

The Federal governmentof National standard for out-of-home care We call on state and territorial governments to work to increase the life chances of caring children, including through proper education.

And relatively new Safe and Supported: National Framework for Protecting Australian Children 2021–2031 We recognize access to education as a “basic right”.

These efforts are for children Young people When caring, work fairly on their education and prepare them for learning and for life.

But this requires global collaboration education And a child protection system to ensure that these children go to school. Every day is important.

Indigenous Australian children receiving home care live primarily with their families and indigenous caregivers.

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It’s important to go to school every day, but children with out-of-home care are missing out

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