Welcoming foster children into your home is a wonderful act of kindness and gives kids from traumatized backgrounds a chance to live with a stable family. But those dreams of a happy foster experience can be made much tougher due to potential PTSD and behavioral issues. Counseling for the child is a good idea, and foster parents may benefit, too.
Chances Are the Child Has Been Through Trauma
Kids go into the foster system as a result of something negative, such as neglect, abuse, or even family death. They are coming from a place of trauma, and they need to learn how to deal with it effectively. This is not the same as getting over it, by the way, but processing and discussing what's happened and finding a way through it and forward so that the child has a happier future. Counseling is available for children of most ages.
You May Benefit From Counseling, Too, if the Child Has Behavioral Issues
A lot of foster kids have behavioral issues and mental health needs, and those can be difficult on foster parents, even if the parents have the child's best interests at heart. If you've had a tough time dealing with your foster child's behavior, you could benefit from counseling. Putting the child's behavior in another light, learning coping skills, and seeing if there are issues that truly need more intervention can assist you as you try to watch over the child.
Counseling Can Help Older Children Facing Aging Out of the System
Older foster teens who are facing aging out of the system need both practical and emotional assistance. Practical assistance can be hard to access in some areas despite federal laws mandating that states offer help, but there are programs that can help them. Emotionally, though, aging out and facing the world on their own can be just as traumatic as the events that landed them in the foster system. Counseling can help older teens process what's coming up and where they've been in their lives. As a foster parent, you may want to see if your foster teen is willing to see a counselor to work on how they feel about the whole situation. And this is true whether you're just being a foster parent or are planning to adopt them.
Foster kids have dealt with a lot in their lives, and counseling can help both them and you adjust to the circumstances. Going to counseling does not indicate anything is extremely wrong with either of you; it's just a way to process past events and current conditions, and it can be very beneficial.
Reach out to a foster care program for more assistance.
As a lifetime sufferer of depression, I have spent a great deal of time in therapy. One thing that I learned early on was the importance of having a good attitude and trying to figure out how to cope with some of the suggestions that my counselors gave me. I realized that when it came to having a good experience, the bulk of the responsibility fell in my lap. I started working hard to take their suggestions in stride and carefully analyze my life and my behavior. This blog is all about improving the counseling process by having a better attitude.