How Child Abuse Affects School Performance

Witten by: Serenity Henderson April 6, 2021

Not only do children in foster care often have to change homes and families but they may have to change schools as well, creating educational disadvantage. Some of these kids who have been through child abuse and or neglect have even more of a disadvantage in school. Mistreated children have a greater instance of exhibiting poor social skills and classroom behavior problems therefore are at higher risk for lower academic achievement. These children are far likelier to drop out of before completing high school. Low academic achievement can cause lifelong, negative psychosocial and economic consequences.

The barriers foster children must overcome to succeed in school, include multiple school changes, inconsistency of curriculum, lack of communication, and delays in enrollment, among other things. sexually abused children, cognitive ability and memory scores effect the risk of their academic achievements as well. A study of sexually abused 7-12 year-old girls showed: 39% displayed academic difficulties, 24% repeated a grade, 15% were enrolled in a remedial class, 48% reported below average grades, and over 37% displayed cognitive ability below 25%.

Early identification can help prevent or minimize the damage the child suffers. Multiple victimizations substantially increase the child’s risk of poor academic functioning. Of the reports of abuse made by professionals to authorities, school personnel are the source of over 50%. Often the teacher is the first person the child tells. Early in 2013, President Obama signed the Uninterrupted Scholars Act, which addresses providing educational stability to children in foster care by making it easier for schools to release a child’s education records to child welfare agencies without the prior written consent of the parents.

Each child needs and has the right to grow up protected from misuse and disregard, and caring foster parents offer kids support and dependability when they need it most. At Family Services of America, we spend a significant amount of time in personalizing plans for all children admitted into our services to get them ready for their next transition. We cooperate with our foster parents to provide services, including therapeutic foster care, adoption and outpatient Services. Quality care and services you can trust. Contact us today on how you can become a foster parent.


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