Speaker: Gaile Osborne
What is your experience using System of Care principles in family/caregiver-driven interactions with schools and professionals?
Gaile Osborne: As an advocate and a mom when I interact with system of care in the school system, I feel like there's less focus on the negative behaviors, there's less focus on what's truly going wrong and more of a solution set. It feels more collaborative, it feels very trauma informed and trauma responsive and so I I see teams regroup um and immediately start asking questions of how can we all work together versus finger pointing and it's just amazing to see that in action. Um the other thing that really jumps out is being using a system of care, how you can have very culturally competent teams that are very, very aware of what's going on in the room before and after and what needs to be followed up on. I've been in meetings where it was very awkward in the sense that, you know, culture was kind of put aside versus when you're using system of care, you absolutely get to look at the culture and and talk about it at the table and no one feel awkward about saying something inappropriate or things like that and you really get to dig into what does the child truly need, but even more than that, what does the family need? You know, the last thing that, and I mentioned it previously was working, you know, with community organizations and making connections outside of the school. It truly makes a collaborative environment and the outside agencies that come into the schools and the schools themselves. Um you get to see that teamwork and it's all family and child centered and it feels like you almost, I mean, you don't need to have um adversity or a situation where uh there's a lot of um negative energy going around the room, it seems just very relaxed and it's making sure that we're all working together for the good of the child.
Are there special considerations that schools should account for children in foster care?
Gaile Osborne: My favorite teams to work with are those with Children in foster care. And you're probably saying how in the world can you think like that? And you know, it just foster care is such a passion and my husband and I fostered over 40 kids in the last 12 years and adopted for now. I had to think how many. Um, but yes, absolutely schools should have special considerations for Children in foster care. Sometimes a child needs to stay at their current school, moving on top of moving families, moving, losing family members and siblings and, and everything. The four walls that they knew, keeping the kid in their home school and, and that's where you get the best interest determination meetings and you know, we sit around tables and we're making decisions for these Children and youth that are in foster care. And I always say in those meetings, what does the child want, does the child want to stay where they're at or does the child want a new start And, and we have to, you know, when we look at the family unit, we have to have the voice of the child in this and especially the voice of the child in foster care, They have to feel empowered even at five years old, six years old, eight years old, you know, 17 and up. I mean they have to feel empowered that their voice matters because everything else around them is being decided for them. And so in some opportunities we can bring them to the table and let them have input. Um, you know, the other thing that really jumps out with Children in foster care and what they truly need and looking at system of care is we have to make sure that what we're doing for these kids is our very best. We don't just connect them with say a school based therapist because that's what's convenient for everyone. We've got a lot look at, is that service effective? Is it effective for them to have therapy at 10 o'clock in the morning on Tuesday morning and then have to return to class. Um is it fair for that child to have to talk about all the things going on their life and then us expect them to go back into the classroom and sit and learn math and reading and write essays and things like that. And you know, the other piece of that is, is making sure that our administrators, they're involved with these conversations and the system of cares um for these youth because at the end of the day, you could see drastic changes from the child that's on paper at one school foster care involvement, coming into custody, moving homes, moving, having disruptions within foster care homes and things like that that may escalate things at school. And rather than looking at this child is, is having bad behavior as a team, we pull together and figure out what's really going on with this child and how can we put effective services around so that they can be successful