A study released in May 2008 predicted that nearly two million children would be impacted by foreclosure by 2010. Sun Belt states such as Arizona, California, Texas and Nevada are losing vast numbers of children due to foreclosure which is causing schools in some communities to shut down completely. But it's not just the communities as a whole being impacted; the individual kids are suffering from foreclosure in ways that many of us simply can't imagine. Let's take a look at foreclosure impacts children and examine how parents and caregivers can help:
- Studies have found that the academic achievement of students displaced by foreclosure suffers. For high school students displaced by foreclosure, the chance of graduating decreased by 50 percent. Parents of school aged children who are going through a foreclosure can help their kids adjust by working with administrators to keep them in their current school at least until the end of the year and preferably until they graduate. Since high school curriculums are not the same from one school to the next, switching schools after a foreclosure can cause some students to fall behind.
- Some children displaced by foreclosure may exhibit behavioral problems or have difficulties adjusting socially to their new community. Parents can help children adjust to the impact of foreclosure by keeping them connected to their former neighborhood so that they can see old friends and remain involved in their social activities that took place in the old community.
- Children displaced by foreclosure often feel embarrassment or stressed. Parents should explain what is happening to their children in an age appropriate way and emphasize the fact that it is not their fault. Also, try to reassure your kids that the financial challenges are only temporary and that you are working on a plan to resolve the issues.