Navigating Back-to-School Nerves


It's back-to-school season – are your foster kids feeling anxious?

The time has rolled around again – back to school season is upon us. For foster families, this transition can bring about a mix of excitement and anxiety for the kids in your care. The first day of school is edging closer, and after the leisurely summer break, it’s natural for foster children to feel a tad nervous about heading back into the classroom. 

To lend a hand during this time, we’ve teamed up with our experienced Supervising Social Workers and Education Specialist to gather a treasure trove of insights and tried-and-true advice to support foster families in managing these back-to-school anxieties.

Quick Tip: Help Ease Separation Anxiety!

Create a special connection with your foster child using a token, like a heart or flower, that you both keep. When they miss you during the day, they can hold onto it for comfort.


Top 10: Foster-Focused Back-to-School Strategies!

  • Routine Reinforcement: Walk through the daily routine, emphasizing how it might be different from summer break. Predictability can be reassuring.
  • Preparation Power: Organize school supplies, uniforms, and other essentials well in advance. Foster kids might appreciate your guidance in getting ready.
  • Visual Aids: Create a visual schedule or calendar to count down the days to school and mark important events. This can provide a tangible sense of structure.
  • Teacher Connections: If feasible, reach out to teachers and school staff to introduce your foster child and provide any relevant information about their background.
  • Transitional Objects: Build on the heart-shaped token idea or other personal connections. A small keepsake they can carry can offer comfort throughout the day.
  • Worry Workshops: Spend time discussing worries and fears. Create a safe space for them to express themselves and brainstorm solutions together.
  • Role Modeling: Share stories of how you’ve faced your own fears and navigated new experiences. Foster kids can find courage in your example.
  • Plan for Setbacks: Acknowledge that there might be bumps along the way. Prepare them for the possibility of tough days and assure them it’s all part of the journey.
  • Celebrate Small Wins: Encourage and praise their efforts – even the small achievements. Each step forward deserves recognition.
  • Self-Care Spotlight: Remember that your well-being matters too. Self-care for foster parents is vital during transitions like this. Reach out to support networks if needed.

As a foster family, your unwavering care and dedication play a pivotal role in helping foster kids tackle back-to-school worries. By implementing these foster-focused strategies alongside other expert advice, you’re setting the stage for a successful transition for everyone into the new school year.

Together, let’s transform those first-day jitters into a launchpad for growth and resilience.