Therapy is not something to be ashamed of- nor should it be a topic that is avoided in the foster care world. Regularly attending therapy can be beneficial to just about anyone. Many foster care kids are dealing with stress and trauma that they have acquired over the years, whether you can see it in their behavior or not. It has been estimated that 90% of all the children in the foster care system have been exposed to some kind of trauma, and 72% of them have experienced neglect. This could include physical neglect, medical neglect, emotional neglect, or educational neglect.
A therapist is a great tool for foster kids, as it gives them an opportunity to talk about their issues with someone outside of their regular everyday life and learn more about themselves along the way, including how to resolve the issues emotionally. For kids, sometimes being able to talk with someone aside from their parents can be less pressure. By putting your foster child into therapy, you may see behavior improvements and an overall more mentally healthy child.
As foster parents, even if we have been educated and read plenty on the subject of trauma, we can only help so much. Child therapists are licensed professionals that have been trained to see behavior patterns in children and can understand the root of the issue that parents may be missing. Just their advice alone can go a long way in creating a happier home and promoting a healthier future for your child.
While these children are in your care, even if for a short time, you have their best interest in mind. Finding a type of therapy that works for your child’s unique situation can go a long way in terms of their future, as childhood trauma and stressors tend to translate into adult life. Addressing these concerns at a young age can help these kids learn tools to cope with their problems and make better decisions.