Remembering a friend, foster care and adoption advocate, and community builder, the late Barb Freeman, our Family Support Coordinator shares insights gleaned from Barb…and a delicious recipe!
Behavior is the language of children. Unfortunately, there is no translation app available! We have to learn to interpret by observation, experience and understanding their big emotions. This is especially true for foster and adoptive families, since children from trauma may not have developed the skills needed to understand their behavior and communicate properly.
For teens in foster care, turning 18 offers a very different reality. They don’t have that safe place to call home. The home most of us can go to when things get hard, or family to call when we need advice. While nothing compares to the forever family every youth deserves, there are resources in place for Indiana teens at risk of “aging out” of foster care.
We all know kids who do things to “get attention.” But many children with neglect histories who get labeled as “attention seeking” are actually seeking connection. If we can work on giving that connection as often as possible, we can help curb some of the negative behaviors. Connecting, though, requires us to look at the need behind the behavior and come up with “out of the box” solutions.
Children who have trauma histories are victims of their intense fears. Traumatic fear can only be resolved by consistently repeated positive experiences which serve to balance the brain and give hope of safety.
Embarking on an adoption journey is daunting, especially as a single parent. You may wonder, “Can I do this on my own?” “Will I be able to handle a child’s schedule and needs on my own?” “Who will help support me?” The good news is that, of course, you are not alone – lots of people adopt as single parents! There are plenty of resources and supports available for single parents – it may just take a little bit of time to find them. (But they’re out there, we promise!)
We previously wrote about things to consider when you’re transitioning a child to your home as a pre-adoptive placement. But, there’s also another perspective on transitions – when you’re transitioning a child from your home into what will be their adoptive family. That process can bring with it as many questions as if you’re bringing a child into your family, but sometimes, the families who have been fostering the child don’t get as much attention or support because they’re “just” foster parents.
The transition from summer to school isn’t easy for most kids (who really wants to say goodbye to summer?!), but for children who have experienced trauma, this transition can be especially fraught. As a parent, you’ve probably got some anxieties about your child’s ability to transition back into a school setting. We’d like to offer some tools to navigate this transition and advocate for adoption sensitivity.
National Reunification Month may not seem like a perfect fit for a program that’s designed to find adoptive families for children who can’t be reunified with their birth parents. But foster care, adoption, kinship care, reunification…they all have the same end goal: to ensure that children grow up in safe, loving, stable families. The specifics of how we reach that end goal might vary a little, but we’re all heading in the same direction.