5 Factors That Help Children Adapt to Foster Care
12th of July 2016
The Journal of Public Child Welfare published a study in 2015 titled Functional Adaptation to Foster Care. The purpose of the study was to find out how children and youth adapt to being in foster care from their point of view. This type of research is helpful, not only to validate the positive work resource families are achieving, but also to see where there is room to grow.
The Importance of Resource Parent Commitment
“Good foster parents were committed to them…They felt commitment was evidenced by an overall sincere and continuing interest in their lives and that good foster parents made them feel they were given more than just a place to stay.”
Including the Child
“Good foster parents rarely used the word foster to describe them to others and allowed them a say in how they referred to their foster parents…Words that promoted common ownership in their homes, such as your room, our house, and our/your family, were considered important.”
Consistency and Rules
They felt “more secure in the placement when their foster parents were firm yet supportive as they struggled through adjustments to new home” and “most appreciated when rules were equally distributed and enforced for all children in the home regardless of whether they were birth or foster children.”
“Good foster parents treated each foster child as an individual. The participants felt that when foster parents used a depends-on-the-child approach rather than one-size-fits-all approach, they had a much better experience and integrated better into their homes.”
Relationships with Siblings and Birth Family
The youth “expressed the need for foster parents to never be disrespectful toward their birth families by speaking negatively about them or by dividing loyalties.”
Having over 20 years’ experience, Jackie currently oversees Trinity Youth Services’s operations of foster care and adoptions programs throughout Southern California and in Houston, Texas. She received a bachelor’s degree in law and society from University of California Santa Barbara, a master’s degree in social work from California State University Long Beach and recently became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Jackie enjoys spending time with her husband and two children attending various baseball, softball and judo meets. She is on the parent board for a judo dojo and is one of the troop leaders for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. Additionally, she really enjoys running half marathons and aims to run 4 to 5 races each year.
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