There is research that indicates that children may suffer from neurological damage if they have experienced trauma in early life. Children who are fostered all too often undergo a series of disrupted attachments. These can be traumatic setting up behavioural difficulties that foster carers have to deal with. There are many private foster care agencies and they would all recognise this dynamic. If a carer is able to provide a sense of stability, security and general order then a child or young person will usually respond positively. A sense of security can limit anti-social behaviour and enable a young person to develop emotionally. It is very important to realise that the key thing is time: trust and confidence need to be built up and given the space to develop. When a child or young person experiences disruption, this creates the idea that no situation or individual can be completely trusted. Children who have been in care for a long period and are then returned home can exhibit offending and disruptive behaviour. This indicates that having to deal with disruption – even if it means returning home can impact on behaviour.
Emotional stability is key so a foster care agency will always highlight certain basics for foster carers to keep ‘front of mind’. Successful parenting includes: a consistent parenting style combining the setting of boundaries, being flexible, maintaining the expectation that the relationship with the child will survive, facilitating contact with a child’s birth parents and avoiding criticism, keeping calm and providing support, interest and encouragement where a child’s education is concerned.
Finally the good news at the end of our Rainbow…
Our community at Rainbow Fostering sees the welcome addition of Trina McCurdy a supervising social worker. Trina has worked for a number of independent foster care agencies and we welcome her energy and experience at our foster care agency.