Helping a grieving foster child
People grieve in many different ways, but there is no denying that grieving is one of the hardest emotional turmoils that we have to endure in life. Loss can make us feel sad, empty, hopeless, angry and often, all of these things at once.
But what if you lost some that you love over and over again? What if you had to feel fresh grief for someone more than once? Well for some of the children in the foster care system, that is exactly what they have to go through.
They are taken from their parents and placed in a safer environment in someone else’s care, then some are reunited, only to leave again. Others are placed in care and will never see their parents again. But do we allow our foster children grieve?
The sad truth is that often misbehaviour in children in care is actually them lashing out against the situation they are in. Often they are grieving the loss of their parents.
Children are unable to recognise the underlying cause of their own behaviours. They feel angry, scared, confused, but they fail to see that their grief and sorrow may be connected.
Some foster children have suffered a tremendous loss and a deep sadness and grief that often goes unrecognised, and often leads to deeper traumas. If, for example, a foster child is not very social; they may not talk much to other children and have a difficult time understanding their own feelings and actions. This could be a result of their deep grief and sadness.
When you become a foster carer, you will need to learn to recognise that your foster child may be grieving. Once you understand what they may be going through, it will be easier to help them. Giving your foster child a hug and telling them that everything is going to be okay is often what they are seeking through their misbehaviour.