Raising your adopted, foster, or kinship children brings great joy and reward to your life. However, parenting a child who has experienced trauma or loss common to adoption, fostering, or kinship situations also brings additional challenges.
Your kids have mental and emotional health needs that differ from their peers. Understanding your precious children’s unique mental health needs enables you to support them in learning healthy coping skills. To help your family thrive, Creating a Family is pleased to bring you these high-quality, evidence-based resources. You will learn tools to care for your children’s mental health, including how to find a therapist, ideas to build healthy attachments, and how to develop your child’s skills for emotional learning. We’ve also included resources to help you learn self-care routines – because your kids deserve healthy, refreshed parents and caregivers who are ready and able to meet their needs!
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Supporting Children’s Mental Health Podcasts
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Supporting Children’s Mental Health Articles
Practical Ideas to Boost Your Child’s Social-Emotional Learning
Your child might have challenges with emotional regulation or difficulty identifying complex emotions. Your child might also have a difficult time making or keeping age-typical peers. Delays in social-emotional learning can leave your child frustrated and lonely without understanding why.
When is it Time to Find a Therapist?
It’s not uncommon for adoptive, foster, and kinship families to struggle with the impacts of the trauma our children have experienced. We might know that our kids’ challenging behaviors stem from abuse, neglect, or other traumatic events in their past. However, knowing it doesn’t stop the hurt. How do you know when it is time to find a therapist for your family’s pain and challenges?
Additional Articles for Supporting Your Child’s Mental Health:
Supporting Your Child’s Mental Health Resource Pages
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.
Often, kids have come into care specifically because they have experienced abuse or neglect. Those experiences and other kinds of trauma that may have occurred in their home, including being removed from their birth family, can and often do influence how a child behaves.
Therapists who are trained in issues specific to the adoption, foster, or kinship experience can work with children and with families to help smooth out the bumps that sometimes occur during the adoptive or foster experience. For purposes of simplifying the conversation, we will use the term “adoption-competent” here. Many of the issues that bring foster or kinship families to therapy are similar to adoption issues.
Most children in foster care could benefit from therapy to help them adjust to the losses and changes they are experiencing. It is sometimes up to their foster parents or kinship care providers to advocate that they get these services.
Healing from Abuse & Neglect
Most children entering foster care or kinship care have experienced some degree of trauma from abuse and neglect. These experiences of trauma leave scars. One of the most important (and hardest) tasks for foster parents and kinship caregivers is to help these kids find healing from abuse and neglect.