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Older adopted children and starting school after placement

(6 Posts)
InterestedInAdoption Tue 18-Sep-12 20:41:57

If you adopted older children (school age) were they able to stay at the school that they were at while being fostered or did they need to change school? If they needed to change school, how long after being placed with you did they start? Did they start straight away or did they have a few days/weeks/months/a year to settle and bond first?

I'm in the early stages of thinking about adoption and doing lots of reading, so it's just a question from general interest, not for a specific reason iykwim, hope you don't mind.

Lilka Tue 18-Sep-12 20:58:12

Hi and welcome smile

Both my older children were from a different LA and so moved quite a way from their previous schools. IME it would be pretty rare for a child to be placed so close to their FC's that they stay at the same school. So you would be moving their school

DD1 was placed in early August, and started back in September after nearly a month at home (she was 10). It worked well for us

On the other hand, DD2 had around 3 weeks off to settle in, but i think that was too long for her - 1-2 weeks at the most would have been much better. She didn't do well just being around me all the time (plus DD1 visiting most days) and whilst it seemed good in principle to give her those 3 weeks, in reality we needed space from each other as well. We were total strangers trying to be around each other 24/7 and it was too stressful and forced. She was 8

All children are different though and people do all different things when adopting school aged children, from having no time off to having a month ish. There is a limit to how long you can keep them off bearing in mind the law (unless they are 4 years old) and you also wouldn't want them getting too far behind which would make it hard starting back again on top of the stress of starting a new school, but some children really benefit from time off

countydurhamlass Tue 18-Sep-12 20:58:59

my friend adopted two children last year, one was of school age the other was a toddler. they were matched with the children and then a timetable was set (i think it was about a couple of months where they were introduced to the children and spent time with the children which was increased over two or three meetings before the children were actually placed with them). this gave them time to register them with a school (however) it was not their local school but one about three miles away). the children were placed at the end of the summer school holidays and i think there was a period of about two weeks before the children went to school. it was a different school to where they were before as the children had been in foster care about 40 miles away from her.

Devora Tue 18-Sep-12 21:21:08

I adopted a baby, but have friends who adopted school-age children this summer. The children started school within a month of moving in.

I think Lilka is right and these things are decided on an individual basis.

Kewcumber Tue 18-Sep-12 21:32:21

My child was pre-school aged so no personal experience though friends experience was all of school moves. I'm not quite sure how staying in the same school would work except in very unusual cases. Most children will be fostered in vaguely the area where they previously lived and it would be rare to have them placed with a family in the same area for security reasons. Also the child would have no privacy about discussing or not discussing the fact they were adopted as it would be clear that they had moved from fostering to adoption.

Bear in mind you get priority places at schools (for very good reasons!)

Blueberry216 Sat 13-Oct-12 17:01:52

Our nearly 6 year old stayed at home for nearly 3 months before starting new school.

Partly due to summer hols would have been 1.5 months anyway. We had to appeal (successfullly) to get her in, which took further 3 month. We welcomed time to settle in, and for us it worked well, if hard work....

Just did simple things to start with, playing in park, ducks, swimming, bit of reading, cooking etc. You can't get that time back, so I'd spend as long as poss at home first. Also NB, even if schools don't like it, obligatory school doesn't start till the term AFTER the child is 5.

Good luck

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