Foster care is full of loss for the children entering the system. Their biological family, siblings, and extended family experience many losses as well. Regardless of the reason the child was removed, these losses are painful, including loss of relationship with their parents, their home and pets, connection to extended family, time with friends and at school, and all else 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 in the foster care relationship when the child reunifies with the biological family or is placed with a permanent adoptive family.
The losses in foster care impact 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, to help foster parents gain a better understanding of the losses in foster care. A few we think you will find particularly helpful are:
- Building the Framework for Adopted & Foster Children to Process the Hard Parts of Their Stories (article)
- How Your Attachment Style Impacts Your Adopted/Foster Kids (article)
- Helping Adopted Children Heal from Past Trauma and Loss (1 hr. podcast w/ expert)
- What Do Kinship Caregivers Need to Succeed? (1 hr. podcast w/ experts)
- Evaluating Risk Factors in Foster Care (1 hr. podcast w/expert)
- Talking with Your Adopted or Foster Child About the Hard Parts of Their Story (1 hr. podcast 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 articles, podcasts, tip sheets, and fact sheets.