How to Identify Signs of Trauma in Children

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

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

How Foster Parents Can Help Ease Trauma Responses

Image Source: Pixabay (https://pixabay.com/photos/people-woman-mother-child-kid-2566854/)How Foster Parents Can Help Ease Trauma ResponsesWhen you decide to open your home to a foster child, you are choosing to open your heart to a child who needs it most. The simple fact is that when children are taken into the foster care system, it is always already a traumatic event. Being separated from your parents, perhaps even from your siblings, and moving into a new home will almost inevitably trigger feelings of fear and loss. Children may suffer from guilt and shame in leaving their loved ones behind. They may even blame themselves for being removed from the home.However, the decision to place a child into foster care is never one to be taken lightly, and it typically follows a painful history of abuse and neglect. Being a foster parent, then, means more than simply loving a child. It also means learning to recognize the

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

  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

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