Let’s Hear From the Children

An interesting article: Advice From Children Who Have Experiences in the Foster Care Setting.

They spoke about ways to assist service delivery during the transition into foster care. These children discussed the importance of tending to experiences such as foster home expectations, the importance of time and information, the new foster/parent-child relationship, coping with stress, the ability to be engaged in decision-making, and the need to build a trusting and personal relationship between children in care and their care givers.

Highlights from the Article:

As we work with children, we must listen to their voices and respect their rights and dignity. As a result, we are encouraging their capacity for self-expression and the promotion of their development (physical, mental, and emotional).

Why don’t we speak to children directly about their experiences? If and when we do, be honest. Explain who you are, what your purpose is, communicate openly, and be polite.

If the child you are advocating for is struggling, try to help alleviate their anger and nervousness. It might really suck for them at first, but help them believe that it will get easier over time and it will work out for the best. Help them to come up things to keep them occupied. Figure out what they like to do and express the need for them to stay busy in order for them to keep their mind off of things they are not ready to think about.

We have to let our children know that we do care about them and we must always treat them with respect. This increases our chances of establishing an understanding and trusting relationship with our children. Furthermore, it’s been proven that providing this social support is considered as an essential factor that minimized the stress that children experience as a result of being placed into care.

Engage in “getting to know you” conversations, physical activities, gift-giving, and decision-making opportunities. If we are to understand children’s values, we must first make an effort to listen to them. No matter what we think or believe, understand this – children need to be talked to, listened to, and loved…a lot.

#adocate #volunteer #onevoiceonechild

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Research provided by:

M. B. Mitchell, L. Kuczynski, C. Y. Tubbs, & C. Ross from their research in the Journal of Child and Family Social Work titled We care about care: Advice by children in care for children in care, foster parents, and child welfare workers about the transition into foster care.

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