When Foster Parents have gone through an incredibly stressful time in caring for a child it can suppress their capacity to sustain loving and caring feelings towards the child. This happens almost instinctively as a way of protecting ourselves from a child’s trauma which often shows itself in fearful, dysregulated and extremely challenging behaviours.
Foster Parents tend to become more reactive, that means they start responding to problems and not the child’s emotional state. More and more attention gets pulled towards the most negative bits of the child because it feels relentless and the only way of fixing the situation.
During these stressful times foster parents will feel vulnerable and often defensive of their decision. It is quite often because they are struggling and watching a child struggle.
At these times its incredibly important that the agency supporting you, particularly your Supervising Social Worker, are there to provide lots of support and that you feel comfortable to share what’s happening and how to move forward.
When you go through your training and in depth assessment to become a foster parent it gives the agency an understanding of your own experiences and how certain actions and behaviours can make you feel. Having that knowledge enables the team supporting you to give you help and guidance to overcome the feelings of blocked care.
Top Tips to Follow
1. Seek support from your Supervising Social Worker and Foster Parent colleagues. Try their suggestions and remember that the problem is rarely resolved on the first try.
2. Try and recall positive interactions and how you felt about yourself and the child. Hold on to those feelings.
3. Research some training that might help you overcome the problem and ask the agency to support you to attend it.
4.Go back to a time when you thought about fostering and why you wanted to do it.
If you are struggling with these thoughts and feeling, whether with our agency or not we’d welcome a talk with you to give you some more tips and support.