5 Safety Considerations for Parents on Halloween

Benefits For a Child in Foster Care

By Cendy
 If you’re fostering a child, you may be wondering if they are eligible for any additional assistance. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers monthly benefits for both people with disabilities and dependent children living with adults on Social Security, disability, or retirement. If your family meets eligibility criteria, you may receive additional payments to cover medical expenses, childcare, housing costs, and any other daily living needs for your foster child.Foster Children With DisabilitiesIf your foster child has a disability like autism, vision loss, cerebral palsy, or many other disabilities, they may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI benefits. SSI benefits are awarded to people of all ages, but there are strict financial limitations that come along with SSI. If you or your spouse earns a decent living, a foster child will not be eligible for SSI benefits even with the most severe disabilities.The smaller your family, the lower

Supporting Our Communities: How to assist foster kids during the pandemic

By
  Over the course of this year, COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. Virtually no corner of the world will be left untouched by this experience. Yet, its impact varies dramatically, even in our own country. The coronavirus has highlighted many inequalities across the U.S., as disenfranchised communities struggle to deal with the consequences of the virus both physically and economically. Among these hard hit groups are our children currently in the foster care system.  The coronavirus has drastically slowed down the process of transitioning children out of foster care and into forever families. A shutdown of government offices and facilities along with the modification of certain aspects of the foster/adoption process such as homestudies, family visits, and traveling across state has caused huge delays and left many children waiting in limbo. Although not everyone is in a position to foster or adopt at this time, there are still

Child Workout Buddies: How to Exercise With Your Kids

  For many parents and kids, the exercise they get is minimal. Parents usually try to squeeze exercise in their schedule while the kids are in school. A lot of children do not get enough exercise throughout their day either. Be it because of other responsibilities or because working out is not a habit for most people, lack of physical activity is definitely affecting both parents and children. But with just a bit of effort and initiative from the parents’ side, children can grow into happy and healthy people.  To make this change, first look closely at your exercise and diet habits. Are they matching the ideal you would like to teach your kids? You are your children’s biggest model, so if you are not setting the example, they are not very likely to pick up new healthy habits. It is also important not to push them or order them

Myths About Adopting Teenagers in Foster Care

Creating a supportive environment for children can help them handle the stresses of growing up and provide tools for maintaining mental health.   The benefits of a loving and supportive family are clearly established. Yet, misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding the adoption of older children and teenagers in foster care mean that they often face more challenges during the adoption process compared to younger children. Ensuring that these false impressions are addressed is essential to ensuring that barriers to adoption, especially of older children and teenagers, are reduced. Here are five common misconceptions about adopting older children.Adoption is Too Expensive Adoption from foster care tends to be less expensive than adopting via a private agency. Although it is state-dependent, the small costs involved are often reimbursable and support is also available to help ease the financial burden involved with adoption. In cases of adoption where the child is over five (including teenagers),

Tips for Easing Child Anxiety

Creating a supportive environment for children can help them handle the stresses of growing up and provide tools for maintaining mental health.   Is your child withdrawn and glum on most days? Have you noticed a drastic fall in their grades? Have they lost interest in activities that they loved in the past? Do they get increasingly cranky and aggressive? Are the mood swings hampering their everyday routine? There is a chance that your child is suffering from mental health issues. Anxiety and depression in kids are widespread these days.  Children are often malleable, gullible, and innocent of the ways of the world. Peers, teachers, and families are some significant influences in a kid’s life. It is, therefore, imperative for parents to create a healthy and holistic environment for their children. You will want to protect your young one from all the pain and suffering of the world, but that is

Taking Your First Family Trip with Your Foster Child

Planning a family trip with a foster child requires planning, but it can be a great bonding and trust building opportunity.   If a foster child has just joined your family, you may be excited about taking your very first family vacation together. As found by researchers at Penn State, all children – including teens – benefit from spending time with their parents; doing so has “important implications for adolescents’ psychological and social adjustment.” Because daily life is usually busy, a vacation is an ideal way to give children this much-needed time, but also to get to know them – their interests, passions, and unique personality traits. How can you ensure that your first vacation together has all the ingredients you need to achieve this aim?Organization is Key In order to travel with family peacefully and efficiently, organization is vital. If flying, ensure your children’s documents (passports, etc.) are up-to-date (if

Adjusting to Having a Child with Food Allergies in Your Home

Understanding the causes, signs, and emergency recommendations for children with food allergies can help caregivers provide a safe environment.   For those who have kids with food allergies, food is a risky experience. Their immune system labels a particular substance as dangerous and releases inordinate amounts of histamine. It can put children in danger, so they have to be careful with everything they serve on the table or keep in their home. It’s not just about avoiding peanuts or any other allergen. It’s about making the home a safe place for the kid, who can’t fully control their food choices without help from grownups. What Is a Food Allergy?An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly sees a harmless substance as dangerous. Even the smallest traces of the allergen can trigger an immune reaction. These foods cause some of the most common food allergies in children:Milk (lactoseFishShellfishEggsTree nutsPeanutsWheatSoyThese foods are all

The Importance of Sibling Relationships in Foster Care

Keeping siblings in care together is not always possible, but studies show the importance of maintaining these relationships.   Adapting to life in foster care is not easy for children. They have to adjust to the new environments, caretakers, and schedules. They face limited contact with their biological families and may need to work to keep their sibling connection intact. Fear of losing siblings can lead to feelings of insecurity, depression, loneliness and anxiety. They may not openly express their feelings, so establishing trust and communication with foster parents and the family unit as early as possible is vital in a foster care setting. Family System TheoryFamily Systems Theory, also known as Bowen Theory (1999) describes patterns and relationships that are created within a family system. Foster siblings that are involved in experiencing intense emotional traumas will have different needs and expectations of their caregivers.The theory explains the triangle of relationships

Keeping A Family Journal

Journaling as a family can be a therapuetic bonding experience and create a record of memories.   A journal captures the memories that could easily escape your mind. These memories are usually raw and can be passed down for generations through the family tree. The benefits of keeping a journal cannot be overemphasized, but they get more pronounced when it becomes a family project. Each member of the family has a unique perspective on life. A similar event will be recorded in multiple unique ways by each member of the family. The family journal will, therefore, cease to be a monotonous narrative through a single eye and become the combined efforts of all persons in the home. This adds beauty and multiple voices to the project. The Beauty of Family LifeA family is like an orchard made of beautiful fruits. Each member of the family has a different flavor that makes

Three Parenting Pitfalls That Can Impact Mental Health

Creating an open, healthy relationship between children and caregivers is vital, and there are some things that may get in the way of well intentioned parents.  No parent can claim to have cracked the code on how to raise children. We are all trying to do what is best for our young ones. Yet, mental and behavioral health challenges are at an all time high in America. Understanding a few of the pitfalls parents may fall into can help you guide your children while maintaining a positive relationship. Watch Your Parenting Style You can sometimes differentiate between democratic and dictatorial home settings by observing how the kids behave around the parents. Unfortunately, most caregivers don’t know the difference between authoritative parents and authoritarian parents. They want to be authoritative, but they end up being authoritarian. The latter method can lead to relationship challenges. Experts say that authoritarian parents leave no room