The Importance of Emotionally Investing in Children

How to Prepare Your Home for the Arrival of a New Foster Child

Photo by Paige Cody on UnsplashHow to Prepare Your Home for the Arrival of a New Foster ChildGetting the news that a new foster child is going to enter your home is always exciting. It gives you an incredible opportunity to have a powerful impact on that child’s life. That starts by making them feel as “at home” as possible. If you’ve never had a foster child in your home before, the task of preparing your home can feel a little daunting at first. But, don’t let it worry you. By focusing on making your space inviting, safe, and fun, you can create the ideal environment for the child (no matter their age), and help them to feel welcome right away. As a foster parent, it’s okay to need a little help and advice sometimes. The more you’re willing to learn about what you can do, the better. With that in mind, let’s cover a

Helping Older Foster Children Gain Job Skills

Helping Older Foster Children Gain Job SkillsParenting older children is difficult. During adolescence, teenagers’ brains struggle to self-regulate as they experience greater highs and deeper lows. At the same time, your child faces more environmental stress as they make major life decisions while moving through periods of great physical change.Helping your teenager regain a sense of control during this stressful period is important. One way to help them navigate this combination of hormonal fluctuation and environmental stress is to plan for the future by developing job skills. However, talking about jobs with your child can be frustrating. As parents, the best way to move through this frustration is to be positive and proactive. Research shows that positive interactions between parents and children will improve your child’s overall competence and lead to better outcomes for you both. As such, it is vital that you listen to your older child, and try to

How to Model Emotional Intelligence for Children

How to Model Emotional Intelligence for ChildrenEvery parent or caregiver wants their child to grow up healthy, happy, and successful. And in trying to bring that all-important goal to fruition, we tend to focus heavily on education, equipping kids with the knowledge and skills they need to build a secure, stable, and prosperous life. But raising healthy and successful children is about far more than cultivating their intelligence quotient (IQ). It’s also about nurturing their emotional intelligence quotient (EQ). And that comes both from what you teach your children and what you model for them.The Importance of Emotional IntelligenceChildren aren’t born with a natural ability to understand their emotions, let alone the knowledge to process and express them. In fact, emotional intelligence refers to a set of specialized skills that many of us enter adulthood never having completely mastered. Emotional intelligence involves self-awareness, emotional regulation, self-expression, active listening, empathy, and

How Foster Parents Can Help Ease Mental Health Struggles

How Foster Parents Can Help Ease Mental Health StrugglesThere is nothing better you can do with your life than to open your home and your heart to a child in need. But doing so is both a profound gift and a profound responsibility. No matter what your child’s experience, whether it is the death of a biological parent or a court-mandated removal from the birth home, your foster child will inevitably have experienced trauma. And that means that there will be an adjustment period not only for the child but for the entire family, particularly if your foster child is one of the nearly 80% of children in the foster care system to experience significant mental health struggles. A History of TraumaIn the majority of cases, children often enter the foster care system because they have experienced significant and prolonged abuse or neglect. They may have experienced parental addiction and housing

How to Help Your Foster Kids Pass Their Developmental Stages with Flying Colors

How to Help Your Foster Kids Pass Their Developmental Stages With Flying ColorsAccording to ego psychologist Erik Erikson, all people go through eight specific stages of development. These psychosocial development stages help to determine self-actualization later in life. As you might expect, healthily going through those stages is important for all children. For foster children, however, it becomes even more imperative. Foster kids have often gone through traumatic experiences or may not have experienced a real “home” until recently. How can you provide a support system for them in your home? How can you help them pass their developmental stages now, so they can be more stable and secure as they eventually transition into adulthood? Let’s take a look at Erikson’s stages and what you can do to help your foster kids through each one. Developing Stages Through RelationshipsErikson’s stages of psychosocial development are: Trust versus mistrustAutonomy versus shame and doubtInitiative versus guiltIndustry versus inferiorityIdentity

Princess for a Day 2021

13th Annual Princess for a DayIt is important for children and youth to know how special they are, and AFFEC has put together many events to do just that, one of which has been put on for 12 years. Upcoming on August 15th is the 13th annual Princess for a Day event!This royal event will be hosted at the Valley River Inn in Eugene, Oregon, on Sunday August 15th, 2021. A Family for Every Child will be providing this event as an opportunity for children from foster care and the community to be treated royally and make special lasting memories. It will be held from 10am to 5pm, with delightful royal activities including meet and greets with princesses, a red carpet photoshoot and a royal tea party. Princesses will have the opportunity to get their hair and makeup done, and get dressed up in a gown with a tiara and

How to Identify Signs of Trauma in Children

    A Family For Every Child Image Source: UnsplashHow to Identify Signs of Trauma in ChildrenIt’s estimated that nearly 35 million children in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event in their lives. Children involved in adoption or the foster care system may make up a large percentage of that, as many of them come from traumatic circumstances. Some of those children might be struggling with symptoms of trauma without even realizing it. That’s why it’s so important to understand what those signs and symptoms are. The more you can recognize some of the physical and emotional “tells” of trauma, the sooner you can ensure a child receives the help and support they need. If you’re a parent or caretaker, you can be better equipped to take care of children, especially foster children, if you pay attention to the possible signs of trauma. With that in mind, let’s cover

Stephanie and Chris’s Adoption Success Story

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Stephanie and Chris’s Adoption Success StoryHi, we are Stephanie and Chris, from just right outside of Houston, Texas. My husband and I have been married for eighteen years and have adopted three amazing children and are awaiting the finalization of our last two. Chris is an accountant by day and a grilling expert by night, and I have been blessed with a flexible job that allows me to work from home and walk the kids to the bus stop and pick them up every afternoon after school.Our two eldest boys were adopted as infants through private adoption, and we have been blessed to watch them grow into exceptional young men. Our first was a private international adoption when he was an infant, he is now sixteen and a joy to be around. Our first foster placement was about four years ago and lasted ten amazing months. While we were happy

How to Make Your House More Welcoming To Foster Kids

Image Source: UnsplashHow to Make Your House More Welcoming to Foster KidsThere are currently over 400,000 kids in foster care, all looking for loving homes. As a foster parent, you’re doing something wonderful to provide a stable and caring environment for those kids as they wait to get adopted. So, if you’re looking into the foster care process, take pride in knowing you’re providing something truly special to children who need it most. Unfortunately, many kids in the foster care system have come from unstable environments. Some of them may have experienced traumatic events and have issues with separation anxiety, anger, or depression. Others have been in the system for years without finding a forever family. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to go above and beyond for your foster kids when you bring them into your home. Little changes can make a big difference.So, how can you make your house more welcoming to

National Foster Care Month

National Foster Care Month Happy National Foster Care Month!  This May is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate, honor and support everyone involved in helping find safe homes and forever families for foster youth around the world! Sometimes this means connecting foster kids with family members, and sometimes it means finding a new family for them. Children enter foster care for a variety of reasons, many of which are related to parents being unable to provide or take care of them due to challenges such as drug abuse, incarceration, death or illness.Thankfully, these kids still have a bright future ahead of them! A Family for Every Child is just one of many organizations and agencies that are working to find loving and supportive families for these children. National Foster Care Month is the perfect time to spread awareness and think about how to volunteer yourself! Be sure to take the time