Credit hours:

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

maurice22's picture

maurice22 replied:

a child may exerieices loss depends separation new surrounding
maurice22's picture

maurice22 replied:

a child may exerieices loss depends separation new surrounding
dbrownlee62's picture

dbrownlee62 said:

I finished the course, it says 2.5 credits but only gives us 2 credit hours. Anyone else finish and get the same results? 2 hours on the certificate?
maurice22's picture

maurice22 replied:

it may not been all corrert
maurice22's picture

maurice22 replied:

it may not been all corrert
ruthannt46's picture

ruthannt46 said:

Recognize that even though a child has been removed from an unhealthy or even dangerous situation they still feel the loss and may even blame themselves.
Ashields1's picture

Ashields1 said:

Not forget that to them it is a loss even if it would appear to be a blessing to leave.
Jeanne's picture

Jeanne said:

We can assure them that their loved ones still love them even though they may not be able to take care of them right now and that they haven't forgotten them. We can also be a source of comfort by listening to their feelings.
vmburk's picture

vmburk said:

I think foster parents need more training on grief and loss so they can better help the children in their care.
arshawn25's picture

arshawn25 said:

Being there for the youth , making sure the youth gets the help needed.