Supporting and Encouraging Your Foster Children Beyond Aging Out

Supporting and Encouraging Your Foster Children Beyond Aging Out

Over 23,000 children age out of foster care each year, but many struggle to adapt to independent living as an adult. As part of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, 25 states now offer extended foster care, and help such as financial support for young adults in work or participating in education programs. This and other schemes go some way to helping them get a good start in their adult life, but a more personal touch is also very important. As a foster parent you will most likely already have faced many transitional phases with your foster children, and, at each stage, supported them to ensure a smooth changeover. Now, whether you have stayed in touch with former foster children who are becoming adults, or you are saying goodbye to your current foster child as they leave for college, your continuing help and advice is still invaluable.Graduating

National Foster Care Month

Since 1988, May has been established as National Foster Care month by President Reagan. This is an important time to acknowledge foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, professionals, and more who work hard to find loving homes for children and youth in the foster care system. Along with, of course, supporting the foster children themselves! There are many ways to support foster youth this May and everyday. VolunteerThere are many opportunities to volunteer through organizations such as A Family For Every Child. Find organizations near you and sign up!Become a Mentor This can be through an organization, a school, or even a business. There are many ways to mentor foster youth and it’s a great way to make a difference in an individual child’s life.Provide ServicesIf you are a therapist or lawyer, provide pro bono services for foster youth.DonateInstead of throwing away clothes you no longer wear or electronics you upgraded from,

Help Your Foster Child Handle Their Phobias

It may seem strange that children have to deal with phobias at such a tender age, but according to research, specific phobias already surface from age seven and social phobias from adolescence. There are many reasons for children to develop a phobia, whether it’s a rational fear of something or apparently irrational. Sometimes the fear might be due to a vulnerable situation, and sometimes the fear is picked up from the fears of others. Those who have a vulnerable background tend to display fears and anxieties, along with depression and other physical signs of their upbringing. For caregivers, dealing with these fears can feel somewhat challenging.  Understand The Difference Between Fears, Worries, and PhobiasIt’s perfectly normal for children to have slight worries or fears about certain things or events, however, when the reaction becomes severe and irrational, this is when it’s classified as anxiety. For children, anxiety can be disabling and to a certain degree, cause