1. Allow them to cry and grieve for the loss of their bio families, the connection to their past, and everything that has been familiar to them.
2. Allow them a place in their room to have a family photo or other things that are important to them. Even give them a little box or have them make a box (decorating a shoe box works well) to keep all their little treasures from the past and the future.
3. Finding a good therapist or play therapist can really help some children process their feelings and get beyond the pain of their life.
4. Do not judge what a child may feel, may not feel or how they deal with their feelings and things that has happened to them.
5. Should your foster child choose to share with you their thoughts and feelings about their bio family, you need to be supportive and just listen. If you’re not asked a question then do not state your opinion. If you should be asked a question tread lightly because that is their family and the child still loves them.
6. If a child likes to write, consider getting them started writing a journal about their thoughts and their life. I had a girl who had a difficult time spelling so she would write some and draw pictures in her journal.
7. If your foster child tells you that they hate a member of their family or they never want to see their bio mom again, do not tell them that is not how they feel. It does not mean that their feelings are right but they are entitled to their feelings whatever they are good or bad. You can say that you understand how they feel due to what has happened to them. This is a biggie:)
8. Helping to find an activity that they can get involved in which to place all their excessive energy (which may be from anger, sadness, or loneliness). This could be anything from running, playing sports, dance, being involved in clubs (girl scouts, boy scouts, YMCA, school clubs, etc.), and to youth groups in your church. The important thing is remember to find something that the child has interest in so you may need to be creative.
9. If your foster child seems to be dealing with their emotions concerning their family and what is happening in their life do not push them to talk to you about it. This could be something that they just do not feel comfortable talking to you or maybe they are working through it with their therapist.
10. Give them all the love, support, time and understanding that you can as a mom. Let them know you will be there for them no matter what.
“Charity sees the need, not the cause.”