She is not doing well in school. She just started first grade and she is already having problems with behavior and academics. I'm trying rewarding her when she does what she is suppose to do. She has a hard time focusing. She gets distracted very easily. Then I have to be really firm and serious so that she understands it is not a game. She tries giving me puppy sad eyes. Or she starts crying,but no actual tears.or she tries hugging me and trying to get me to play instead of staying on task. It is very frustrating and I find myself raising my voice. She comes to my house with most of the weeks school work not done and I have to play catch up. I can not control what is or isn't done in the other homes. But what can I do to make her understand how important it is for her to do her school work, homework, and behave in school?
Make a big family meeting with the parents of all the home every two months to make some framework that the child can learn to trust (including all the children every other meeting). There will always be variance to how much each parent will fudge the framework, but it is still there even when fudged and the child can then demand that the framework is followed.
While this is begin implemented, for tials and errors, then do the meeting every two weeks for 6 months.
The city where I live dose this with all the different agencies that are taking care of children, bringing the teacher, special ed, the sport coach, and even the music school and free time personal to such a gathered meeting including all the parents to find a common framework. perhaps this is something that all the parents can demand and use a room at the childs school for this framework meeting. Sometimes there is also a socialworker, physiatrist and other therapy people from different agents that have somethign to do with the childs wellbegin. Include them. Invite them. if the child will get the support that it needs now, then thwew will be much less cost and problems later.
I have had more than one fosterchild and these meetings work well to coordinate everyone for the task of making a single framework for the child.
The answer depends upon the relationship you have with the other parents involved. If your relationships are amicable, Kari is right that coordination is the first and best solution.
Barring that, the only thing you can do is be very consistent with your rules. You must allow that there will be an amount adjustment time each time the child comes to your home to stay. Just let her know how much you love her, and praise and reward her when she stays on task and follows the rules.
Unfortunately, there is no ideal solution to such a chaotic situation.