Back to school when your family has separated
mother and 8 year old boySeparation can be tough for all involved, particularly for the kids. Day-to-day home life can quickly change, and this can affect school, your children's learning and their play. At the start of a new or first school term, children who are experiencing family separation may find an already challenging time even more difficult.

Given the amount of time your children spend there each day, school is often the place where children act out or voice their emotions and concerns about your separation. Keep an eye out for any changes in school grades and performance, interests or changes in social interactions with other children. If you can pick these things up early, it will be easier for you to work with your children and the school to reduce some of the stress.

Some things you can do
By putting some planning into your children's return to school, you can better manage any effects from your separation:
• Where possible, try to keep your children's schooling and friendships as unchanged as possible;
• Ask the school for some verbal or written reports to check how your children are going;
• Work out arrangements with the other parent to ensure things such as drop off and pick up times are clear and managed;
• Find out what services are available through the school to help your children, such as counselling or extra-curricular activities.

There are a range of really practical and helpful resources available for both you and your kids from the Child Support Agency (CSA). Some of these include booklets like "Me, My Kids and My Ex" to help you work with the other parent, "Me and My Money" to help you budget and "Family separation - A Guide for Teens". Visit www.csa.gov.au or call 1800 040 972 to download or order these free booklets.

You can call the CSA on 131 272 for child support information and other support so you can help your kids through the separation.

 
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