One aspect of fostering that some people may find difficult is saying goodbye to a foster child at the end of their placement. Here are some coping strategies that may help to make this difficult transitional period easier for you and your family, and the fostered child.
It’s important that the focus remains on the best interests of the child. However, transitions like a child leaving your home can put a lot of strain on you, your partner, children and other extended family members who may have come to care for them.
As a foster carer, you need to put your own feelings to one side in order to get the best possible outcome for the child. This shouldn’t stop you from expressing your feelings when talking to your friends and family. No matter which type of foster care you typically carry out – be it long- or short-term –we understand it can be emotional to see a child you’ve come to really care for leave your family home. It can also be difficult for your biological children, who may not be old enough to understand why a child or young person is suddenly not around.
As a means of coping when it is time for a child to leave your home, it’s important to be aware of your feelings and to talk about these to your family within your support network, social workers and wider foster care team.
Be sure to sit down with your own children to explain why a child is moving on where this is appropriate, so that they can understand what is happening without blaming themselves or misunderstanding why a child is leaving.
Here, we list some of the practical steps you can take to make this process as comfortable as possible for you, your family and a foster child:
There are many different reasons why a foster child may need to leave your home:
We’ll explain all these to you during your initial training. It’s important for new foster carers to understand the circumstances around placement moves, so that they can better prepare themselves and their family.
At National Fostering Group, we’re committed to helping our foster carers through the ups, downs and everyday challenges of fostering. This includes providing round-the-clock fostering support, training and guidance. If you’re interested in becoming a foster carer, please get in touch.