If a child has never experienced foster care and does not know any other kids who are in that situation, how will you explain it to them? What about abuse, or neglect and being taken away from their parents? How can you explain it to them without scaring them? Children may have difficulty understanding what exactly it all means. Whether you are prospective foster parents, or you just want your kids to understand the lives of others better, it is important that you give honest and uncomplicated explanations. Here are some questions that kids ask about foster care.
Is foster care a place like day care?
Foster care is not a building or a place where foster children go. They live in a home, with a family, just like other children, just not his or her parents because it is unsafe.
Do kids get to see their parents?
A child will get to visit his or her parents, if they are available, and it is safe. To make sure that the child is safe the visits may be supervised at first. A child may get to spend more and more time with his or her parents as time goes on and may even get to go home for good.
If kids go to foster care because their parents hit them, what if, when I am in trouble, my parents hit me?
Be careful to explain the difference between spanking and abuse when a child asks about spanking. Although considered an inappropriate form of punishment by many, other parents do spank their children when other methods of punishment are not having an effect. Explain clearly that the kind of hitting and abuse is very, very serious, which is why a child is sent to foster care.
What else can we do to help kids in foster care?
Understanding that some kids are not able to live with their parents and they have no control of the situation, is one of the most important things a kid can do. It is important to not judge others because there are so many different kinds of families, and their family may not seem the same as yours. Whether grandchildren are raised by their grandparents, aunts and uncles raise their nephews and nieces, young siblings are raised by their older siblings, adoptive parents raise their adoptive children, or foster parents raise their foster children, they are all families. It is most important that the kids are well looked after and safe.
You can be very helpful to a child in foster care just by understanding that some kids may have gone through difficult things in their lives and choosing not to judge them. Just like any other child, they need friends to stand by them.
If you are in the Fort Worth, TX area and would like more information about foster care, please contact us at Kids First today.