Children who have been removed from their homes are cared for by foster parents… but who supports the foster parents? Perhaps that is a role that you can play!

Many challenges come along with foster care. There is a roller coaster of ups and downs for the children, but also for their families of origin, biological mothers, and foster parents. To uniquely support everyone touched by foster care, we must be aware of foster care milestones. These are the touchpoints that are often associated with big emotions… making them great opportunities for us to wrap around and provide support.   

  • Specific to foster parents, the training process, license approval, and waiting game can be tough… but maybe the biggest challenge comes with the initial placement of a child. This is a major transition for the child, foster family, and also the family of origin who is experiencing loss.
  • Moving forward, there are many court dates and potential family visitation meetings. For the children and adults involved, there are often big emotions leading up to each one of these appointments… so many questions, fears, and worries. After these interactions there may be even more emotions. It can be like ripping the band-aid off over and over again for a child. And the aftereffect can last for days before life settles back into a normal routine.
  • And then there are milestones totally unrelated to the foster care process. Birthdays. Holidays. Graduations. These occasions that are celebratory for most could now be triggering to children and teens living in foster homes. They grieve their own families and traditions. Their feelings of loss are heightened.  

Through this entire process, we often see children have periods of dysregulation. Sleep patterns are off. Coping behaviors arise. Outbursts. Sadness. Aggression. Children react to their big emotions in a variety of ways, all of which the foster parents aim to navigate with a focus on healing. Ongoing care and support for these families is so necessary. 

CASA advocates are first and foremost focused on the children we serve. However, serving them to the best of our ability often means supporting the adults in their lives. We offer a listening ear to birth parents. We provide encouragement to foster parents. We connect them both with helpful resources. Afterall, it takes a village to raise a child… especially a child living in foster care.