Foster parents attend training in trauma informed care so they can best help children who have been exposed to adversity. Much of that knowledge is based on science.
Foster mom Heather Ford has all of that – plus, she has begun to master the art of caregiving.
Below is a blog entry by SaintA staff who say Heather is a great example of one of the 5 Ways Foster Parents Impact the Lives of Children.
Safety is Key
Heather Ford is a newly licensed foster parent and has been licensed for just 7 months. She is motivated to help children in need of safe and loving homes. Heather started her journey in foster care with no parenting experience. Upon her first placement, she quickly learned she loved sharing her home with a child.
After helping that child transition to a relative, Heather was called for a child who was older than the age range she originally set out to care for. He also had an older sibling who needed placement as well.
In order to keep the brothers together, Heather accepted emergency placement of both of them. The brothers had experienced significant violence in their birth home and were victims of alleged physical abuse.
Heather quickly learned that they were very concerned with her opinion of them. “Am I being bad?” “Are you mad at me?” “Are you going to whoop me?” These were questions she heard many times each day.
Both boys were constantly fearful of being hit. Heather took time to assure each child that they are safe and will not be hit while in her home. She structured a routine for the children so they would know what to expect.
She focused on her words when redirecting them, making sure she did not make them feel bad about themselves or fearful.
Heather also introduced the children to “time outs.” When the children react to their feelings with physical aggression, Heather does not punish their behavior but teaches them a better way to express themselves.
Heather realized that for these boys, feeling safe wasn’t just about having a safe place to live, away from the violence, but also emotional safety.
As a result of the safe, stable and loving environment Heather has provided, the boys are thriving.
Watch this blog for more insights from SaintA staff or sign up to receive an alert when new blog posts are published.
Top 5 Ways Foster Parents Impact the Lives of Children
- Reason #1 – Safety
- Reason #2 – Stability
- Reason #3 – Relationships
- Reason #4 – coming on Monday, May 22
- Reason #5 – coming on Monday, May 29
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