School-To-Home Connections for Foster Children and Families


Lucas Shivers

Job Title

Researcher, Teacher, Foster Parent


lecture, workshop


Foster and/or Adoptive Parents, Biological Families, Service Providers, Case Managers,
Advocates, Policy Makers

Presentation Summary:

In this presentation, participants will learn about the distinctive aspects of school connections within foster care, with a lens of exploring teacher-family relationships. To build successful school-to-home connections, foster families, teachers, school leaders and other stakeholders can learn to communicate to make decisions together. Teachers and foster parents can learn to solve
problems to close the achievement gap of students in foster care.
-       Participants will learn how elementary teachers describe their experiences working with foster families; as well as how foster families describe their experiences working with elementary teachers.

-       Participants will learn some of the strategies that appear to improve the interactions of teachers and foster families.

-       Participants will learn how to overcome some of the remaining challenges.
Since 2008, my wife and I acquired practical, round-the-clock insight from the complexities of the child welfare system by serving as foster parents for six youth, as well as short-term respite care for many more placements. Learning from my own personal ability to navigate the system, I have a working understanding of the protocol for educating foster care students with a variety of student needs and teacher approaches. As an elementary teacher interested in underdog populations, I have found countless opportunities to initiate school-to-home connections with vulnerable students. Additionally, I completed my doctoral degree from KU with my dissertation entitled School-to-Home Connections in Foster Families.