For the children, their family, and their foster family, foster care is full of loss regardless of the reason the child was removed. For the child, those losses include their parents, home, pets, extended family, friends, school, and all that is familiar. For the parents, the biggest loss, of course, is their children, but many also feel the loss of the dream that they would be the type of parent that they had always hoped they would be. Foster parents also experience loss when the child moves back home or to a permanent adoptive family.
Loss impacts the child’s behavior, learning, and attachment to the foster family. It can significantly impact the relationship between the foster family and the birth family. Fear of experiencing the pain of loss can also make some foster parents hesitant to love the next foster child as deeply.
Creating a Family has resources, supported by research and experienced therapists, for helping foster parents understand the losses associated with foster care. A few we think you will find particularly helpful are:
- What Every Foster Parent Should Know: 8 Losses Foster Kids Feel (blog)
- What Do Kinship Caregivers Need to Succeed? (1 hr. radio interview w/ experts)
- Evaluating Risk Factors in Foster Care (1 hr. radio interview w/expert)
- Talking with Your Adopted or Foster Child About the Hard Parts of Their Story (1 hr. radio interview w/ expert)
- 7 Core Issues in Adoption and Foster Care (1 hr. radio interview w/ expert)
Scroll to the very bottom of this page to see the resources we have on understanding loss in foster care in the form of blogs, articles, radio shows/podcasts, tip sheets, fact sheets and expert Q & A’s.