The Ministry of Education and Ministry of Children and Family Development work together to share information about all children in care throughout the province. The Ministry of Education encourages district and school staff responsible for children in care to work with local Ministry of Children and Family Development officials to identify all children in care and focus on their sense of belonging at school and achievement.
Surrey Schools recognizes that all children who are living out of the parental home are vulnerable. As such, each school assigns at least one staff member to act as a primary contact for children in care. The purpose of a primary school contact is to:
- Support the child’s transition to school
- Create an immediate sense of belonging
- Assist with class placement and education programming needs
- Provide ongoing advocacy
- Liaise between school and guardian(s)
- Regularly check-in to monitor connection to school and academic progress
In addition, Surrey Schools has hired Diane Felgate to refine the identification process for children who are in care. Diane comes to us from the Ministry of Children and Family Development. She worked in Surrey throughout her career and spent many years supervising social workers responsible for child protection work – conducting investigations and working with families and children in care. She then moved into supervising work with Children and Youth with Special Needs, where her team worked with children in care with special needs.
As with all 70,000 plus students who attend Surrey Schools, our 404 children in care are unique and resilient. They come to us from varied backgrounds with wide-ranging strengths, and personalized needs. This being the case, reporting achievement publicly on children in care as a cohort can be misleading.