The life book

Tracykrd's picture

I have started keeping the life book for when my son asks questions about his birth family. This way I have pictures to show him and he knows where he came from.

communication

breadman65's picture

i find that involving them in family projects, opens up the lines of communication, for they feel they are not just a visitor

Ideas

VMagill127's picture

Some ways that I would try to do this is to always keep communication open about the birth family, and always discuss them with respect and honesty with the kids. Depending on the age of the children, I would also say coloring pictures, writing letters, taking photos, making picture albums are all great ideas and can be shared when/if communication is opened, and the child is willing to do so.

Arrange social activities

rwnugent's picture

It would be beneficial to arrange social activities with other children of similar age. Help them engage with classmates in social activities.

Arrange social activities

rwnugent's picture

It would be beneficial to arrange social activities with other children of similar age. Help them engage with classmates in social activities.

Teenagers

melinda1510's picture

The biggest thing I do is....We have 4 foster boys (10-16). We all come together, should it be while I am cooking supper or eating supper, and I let each one talked about their families. I feel it gives each one more comfort and less embarrassment for them to see they all have a story about their families. It seems to help them all connect more and reduce the anxiety for the ones that do not see any family.

Teenagers

melinda1510's picture

The biggest thing I do is....We have 4 foster boys (10-16). We all come together, should it be while I am cooking supper or eating supper, and I let each one talked about their families. I feel it gives each one more comfort and less embarrassment for them to see they all have a story about their families. It seems to help them all connect more and reduce the anxiety for the ones that do not see any family.

Teenagers

melinda1510's picture

The biggest thing I do is....We have 4 foster boys (10-16). We all come together, should it be while I am cooking supper or eating supper, and I let each one talked about their families. I feel it gives each one more comfort and less embarrassment for them to see they all have a story about their families. It seems to help them all connect more and reduce the anxiety for the ones that do not see any family.

Creating a life book

Heather Berry's picture

creating a scrapbook which includes their birth family names and pictures and information and pictures of what they experience while they are seperated. If they are older, a journal can also be helpful

Creating the life book

tsroberts1's picture

I think creating a life book helps the child to remember who they are, and this involves their past. In order for them to adjust to the changes being made and the future they are experiencing, they need to know it is good to remember the good things of their past and what made them the person they are today.

talking about family

PandH Berry's picture

We have always openly discussed birth family, calling them family and by name and by their appropriate label, like "mom".

talking about family

PandH Berry's picture

we always talk about birth family, have gathered information about extended family and will encourage communication if safe and healthy

Family Time

Mbloodworth's picture

We do a lot of family time, We foster younger children so preschool is a great way to help a child stay busy and not think to much about things.

Open communication

Katie Gossett's picture

With our foster placement, it was a likely that he would get to return home because of how circumstances were going and what his mother was doing with her plan. In this case we often talked about his return home, or experience at home. He was at an age where we could be very open and honest about what we knew was going on with his case and we tried to answer any questions he asked. He liked to share memories often, and we always tried to help him see that he could cherish his memories and future with his mother and still put everything into his relationships and school work here. Focusing too much on the past and possible future seemed to make the present irrelevant so we had to help him find that balance.

Ideas with young children

jkfh2s's picture

We had a young child in our care that we had known since birth. We talked about his parents and tried to talk about positive memories. I hung a picture of him and his mom in his room by his bed. We also took lots of family photos and made collages out of them and let him help put stickers and write fun stuff next to pictures, then hung them up, to help him feel like he was truly a member of our family. We would also just sit and listen to him talk about whatever he wanted and then ask open ended feeling questions. This really worked well for us and him. He has since been returned to his bio mom but still comes to stay with us, and refers to us as mom, dad, sister, brother.

Lots of Good Ideas Here

ktb.irwin's picture

We have yet to have any children placed with us yet, so all of this information is very helpful. Thank you! While I am around little ones often with lots of friends' children, nieces, and nephews, I'm really trying to keep my mind open to all the possibilities we may encounter with foster care. I definitely plan to use lots of coloring and drawing to help young children express their feelings. I know it can also help them open up and talk while they color. I also liked the To-Do lists and "Letter to My Family" organizer found in the training.

An idea for foster children

tom18skiDecember303's picture

I would encourage visits ordered. I would encourage pictures and letters or emails as well. I would definitely encourage sibling visits and routine contact set on a schedule.

Ideas

Ankromfamily1's picture

This question is so age-dependent. We have a one year old and a two year old and right now they have weekly visits with their birth mom. If those stopped permanently, we would try to have pictures of their birth mom for the kids to have and we would talk about the different ways children come into families (by birth, by adoption, temporarily through foster care). I think if the kids are older, there are a lot more options that people have already mentioned.

impact on kids

tesk87's picture

To help children that have no contact with bio's, they need to feel part of your family. Each case is different, when bio's don't want nothing to do with the children make sure they see themselves in pictures and involved in the family. Make sure they feel part of the extended family too.

impact on kids

tesk87's picture

To help children that have no contact with bio's, they need to feel part of your family. Each case is different, when bio's don't want nothing to do with the children make sure they see themselves in pictures and involved in the family. Make sure they feel part of the extended family too.

missing relatives/friends

Blair's picture

Write notes, draw pictures, make cards to be given when those people can be seen again

Missing out.

0togo7's picture

If missing a loved tradition or event give the child the opportunity to talk about it or facilitate bringing it to life.

Missing out.

0togo7's picture

If missing a loved tradition or event give the child the opportunity to talk about it or facilitate bringing it to life.

Have them discuss openly when

sfin74's picture

Have them discuss openly when they are confortable about their family. Allow them to feel comfortable to think and talk about the circumstances and their family so they have closure.

Guidance

SeanL's picture

Provide a stuff animal to help ease the transition. Also giving that child some time to grieve from what just happened and to ease them in to the new changes that are ahead with the use of their case worker, support, activities and understanding will help them through this and to stay in contact or try to with other family if it is allowed.

Separation

ShaParent's picture

We have an open line of communication to discuss his family. We also pray for his family each day.

Open Discussion

adevos's picture

Encourage children to talk openly about their families and ask them questions about their previous relationships. Maintain positivity.

Journal

PamDV's picture

Encourage kids to write out their memories of their bio families in a journal, frame and display any pictures they might have of family members and write letters (even if they are never sent).

Ideas

Frances Vaujin's picture

play therapy

Ideas

Frances Vaujin's picture

Play therapy since problems are worked out through play when very young

Separation

thereserockwell's picture

I could have my foster child write letters to his family members. We could mail them when it is appropriate to do so. We could look at his or her family photos and talk about the people in the photos. I could print some photos from his or her phone and frame them, or make a photo scrap book for the child to keep.

IDEAS

epowell's picture

I have some middle aged kids (10 and 13) who use to visit with their family as a mean of communication and my 15 year old she visited with her biological family often and I believe as long as they(biological family)puts forth the effort than I makes things that much better.

Dealing with separation

Tistinesissy's picture

a school aged child could write letters to their family as a way to express themselves. if at some point communication is reopened they may want to share their letters.

idea

sweetvoice30's picture

We have used play therapy.

Ideas

lukewhite76's picture

We have had the young ones color pictures of their family and fun places they have been with their family.

Talk openly

ericars's picture

Our kiddos are 3 and 5 years old. Sometimes these concepts seem too grownup for them. Where we have had luck though is in pretend play, coloring and open discussion about where their folks are and how they're doing.

talking openly

trombonehampton's picture

We had a child experience a parent's death while in our care. Talking openly (lead by the child) seemed to be the best course to take. We had experienced loss in our own family and tried to share that connection with her and how we dealt with it and felt about it.

Talk openly

ericars's picture

Our kiddos are 3 and 5 years old. Sometimes these concepts seem too grownup for them. Where we have had luck though is in pretend play, coloring and open discussion about where their folks are and how they're doing.

Ideas

Ryanfontana's picture

We had a 4 year old boy who was separated from his sisters. We would facetime with them once a week so they could see each other between visits. They really enjoyed this!

An idea for young ones (we

meghan711's picture

An idea for young ones (we had an 18 month old and 3 year old placed with us) is to have them color a picture of their bio parents and siblings.