The Provider Portal offers session guides for the FOCUS on Foster Families providers. To access other guides, click the arrows below or use Table of Contents in the right panel.
“ALL CHILDREN ARE BORN TO GROW, TO DEVELOP, TO LIVE, TO LOVE, AND TO ARTICULATE THEIR NEEDS AND FEELINGS FOR THEIR SELF-PROTECTION.” ALICE MILLER
Say: Parenting foster children can be challenging at times. Foster children have experienced many transitions in their lives and need security, consistency, and nurturance. As foster or adoptive parents, your foster child’s behaviors and reactions may be inconsistent with what you had imagined or incongruent with where they are at developmentally. Today we will talk about your child's developmental stage and how you can tailor your expectations to meet your child where they are.
Say: Now that we have a better understanding of where your child is developmentally, let’s take a look at ways we can better understand his or her emotions and cognitions. First, it’s important to remember that it is normal for foster children to have behavioral problems due to the transitions and the trauma they have experienced. Behaviors are shaped by thoughts and feelings and we will focus on better understanding the underlying feelings/emotions that shape these behaviors. We have created a tool to help put words to both you and your child’s feelings. This is a helpful tool for families to communicate their feelings to each other.
Say: Family meetings are a great opportunity for open communication among family members. They are also a perfect time to discuss upcoming events, address conflicts, or clarify expectations for youth. The worksheet below summarizes how to ensure your family meeting goes smoothly. Bring the Feeling Thermometer and introduce it to your children at the next family meeting. Let them know this is going to be a new activity where everyone can express where they are at on the thermometer every day!