15 May MEET CYNTHIA
Cynthia is a Bloom foster parent and has been a guiding light for many foster children. Although the foster children in her care eventually move on to a permanent home, or back to their biological families, Cynthia always goes the extra mile to make sure each child is set up for success in the future.
Unfortunately, schools are often a place of failure for children in foster care. In fact, 55% percent of children in foster care will drop out of school at some point. As an educator, Cynthia has first-hand knowledge of how helpful an individualized education plan (IEP) can be for children. Cynthia advocated strongly for her 8-year-old foster child, Andrew*, to complete an IEP before he moved out of her home and changed school systems. Once in place, the IEP provides children with additional resources, such as smaller classroom settings and one-on-one tutoring. Instead of depending on his next placement to establish an IEP (which could take months), Cynthia wanted Andrew to leave her home with a plan for academic success already in place.
“I knew the IEP would help Andrew with his academic challenges and bring him up to speed with the other children in his age group – especially in his new school,” Cynthia says. “Without an IEP, I knew Andrew would struggle with his classes, fine motor skills, and socialization.”
After Andrew’s left her foster home, Cynthia stayed in communication with his biological family to ensure his safety and well-being. “I feel like I did make a difference in Andrew’s life,” Cynthia comments. “When Andrew left, he knew what it meant to have a community and a family that supported him. He knew that he would always have a group of people who love him unconditionally, and he had someone to call if he ever felt the need.”
Often times individuals consider becoming a foster parent, but hesitate to take the next step towards becoming one. When asked about why she decided to care for foster children, Cynthia replied, “I became a foster parent to help children in need. With the large number of children coming into foster care daily, I felt like someone needed to step up to show that someone cares for them….so, why not me?”
*name changed for confidentiality