A child’s attachment to a primary caregiver is crucial for mental health both as a child and later as an adult. Attachment is the process of forming emotional bonds between parent and child. Those bonds must be a two-way street: just as the child must attach to the primary caregiver, the parent must also attach to the child.
Attaching to a foster child is sometimes hard for foster parents to do. This could be because they think their role in the child’s life is temporary, or maybe the child’s challenging behaviors make them difficult to automatically love. Nonetheless, it is important for foster parents to help their foster and adopted children attach and learn how to trust that their needs will be met.
Creating a Family has resources, supported by research and experienced therapists, for helping foster parents and kinship families help the children in their care. A few we think you will find particularly helpful are:
- How Your Attachment Style Impacts Your Adopted/Foster Kids (blog post)
- The IDEAL Response: How to Maintain Connection When Correcting Your Child (blog post)
- Using Scripts to Build Trust with Foster & Adopted Kids (blog post)
- Establishing Secure Attachment with Your New Foster or Adopted Tween or Teen (blog post)
- Attachment 101 (1 hr. radio interview w/ expert)
- How a Parent’s History with Attachment and Trauma Impacts Fostering and Adoption (1 hr. radio interview w/ expert)
- Practical Tips for Disciplining While Maintaining Attachment (1 hr. radio interview w/ expert)
- Suggested Books on Attachment for Foster Parents
Scroll to the bottom of this page to see the resources we have on attachment help for foster parents in the form of blogs/articles, radio shows/podcasts, tip sheets, fact sheets, and expert Q & A’s.
Image Credit: Colin Bowern