Credit hours:
2.50

Course Summary

For youth in care, placement in care often brings complicated feelings of shame, relief, or guilt. In order to effectively serve and provide for young people, we need to help them recognize their grief and meet them where they are in their grieving process. Gain knowledge and tools to help your child cope with feelings of grief and ambiguous loss through this course.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • About ambiguous loss and complicated grief
  • Unique challenges foster youth face through the grieving process
  • Understand how grief and trauma can manifest in a young person's behavior
  • Strategies a young person can use to cope with ambiguous loss and/or grief

Step 1

Watch the following video "Best Practices for Grief: Foster Care Placement," this video is a part of a series examining grief and loss experiences of children and teens, and was selected because of the valuable introduction it provides about young peoples' grief in foster care:

Step 2

The effects of grief that children in foster care experience vary by the developmental age of the child. Review the following article published by Fostering Perspectives, "The Effects of Grief and Loss on Children in Foster Care", to learn what grief signs to be aware of for all children.

Step 3

Review the following article "Ambiguous Loss Haunts Foster and Adopted Children", to learn about the inevitable loss a young person experiences during their foster care experience (sometimes over and over again) and how incredibly difficult this type of grief is to process.

Step 4

Gregory Manning discusses the difference between a traditional and non-traditional loss and how the profound loss and trauma a young person in foster care experiences manifests and impacts their behaviors in the following video "Grief and Loss for Youth in Foster Care & Adoption":

Step 5

Watch Matthew's video which reflects the trauma, grief, and loss he dealt with throughout his foster care experience. 

Step 6

Review "What Young People Can Do: Healing From Loss", a simple form to help guide and validate a young person healing from loss.

Step 7

Share the "Bill of Rights for Grieving Youth in Foster Care" tool with your child. These Rights reflect the values, dreams, and aspirations of current and former foster youth suffering from tremendous loss and can be helpful to a grieving young person and/or a young person who has not yet begun the grieving process.

Step 8

Join the discussion in the comments below to answer the following question:

How can you help young people in your care suffering from grief and loss?

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Course Discussion

ejiswel's picture

ejiswel said:

Be that listening ear.
tadisney's picture

tadisney said:

Acknowledge their feelings and let them be them.
loopy's picture

loopy said:

we reasure the children in our care that we with help them love them will help guide them through grief let them talk freely cry or just screem we do not judge thyem or the parents
maurice22's picture

maurice22 said:

I don't know you are looking for me to say all I know have been aiready said some the child get attached b to the care giver it mostly happen when thay young some time the care giver get fired some thay quit a the child gose though the process again each time but the child hahdle it batter each time
maurice22's picture

maurice22 said:

I don't know you are looking for me to say all I know have been aiready said some the child get attached b to the care giver it mostly happen when thay young some time the care giver get fired some thay quit a the child gose though the process again each time but the child hahdle it batter each time
maurice22's picture

maurice22 said:

a child may not act out at frist if it no use to you or it surrounding you some how need to find way to give the child the feeling safety that he or she is in a good place to be
maurice22's picture

maurice22 said:

a child may not act out at frist if it no use to you or it surrounding you some how need to find way to give the child the feeling safety that he or she is in a good place to be
jkatkinson's picture

jkatkinson said:

We can help by giving them positive outlets for their emotions, ensuring they are receiving the counseling needed & letting each one know it is normal to feel this way.
rlatkinson's picture

rlatkinson said:

Reassuring the children in our care is one of the best ways we can help guide them through their grief. Letting him or her talk freely, cry, vent - whatever the case may be- and not judging the child or parent.
maurice22's picture

maurice22 said:

be understanding be ware of calendder dates look for the 5 stages of grief denial anger depression bargailng acceptance of grief