What it looks like for foster families heading back to school this fall

West Virginia News

PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — Parents deciding on how their children will attend school this year is a tall task, but foster parents find themselves in a different position.

Braley and Thompson Home Finder, Tina Russell, said West Virginia’s 7,000 foster children go home to parents who aren’t their own and mainly fall under state custody, meaning their foster parents do not get a final say in how they will attend school this year.

“The state does want to have a role in having a meeting, what they call a multi-disciplinary team meeting. They’ll do that to discuss how the children will be enrolled,” Russell said.

Russell said these parents don’t make the final decision, but they do get to be part of the conversation with state representatives. As a former foster parent herself, she understands what these parents are going through right now.

“Some of the children in foster care also have health issues. There may be some immunity issues that they may be concerned if the child possibly got it, how badly it would affect the child’s health that they’re caring for,” Russell said. “I think right now, there’s a lot of anxiety because we don’t really know for sure how this is going to work.”

She said the decision is all about ensuring kids stay safe in these homes and the communities they’re placed to live in.

“Because at the end of the day, it’s about what’s best for the children,” Russell said. “We want people caring for them that can provide the best care.”

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