Nurturing with Care: How Not to Interact with a Foster Child

There are thousands of children in need of foster care homes in Scotland alone. If you are a new foster carer or considering your options for becoming one, practice caution regarding what you say to them or in front of them. To err is to be human, but when it comes to vulnerable children, it’s best not to make too many of the following mistakes.

Nurturing with Care: How Not to Interact with a Foster Child
[image: pexels by daria obymaha]

Avoid Asking the Uncomfortable Questions

What may feel like a perfectly natural question to you, might cause the child to panic. For example, it may feel like a perfectly reasonable question to ask why the child is in foster care, but it is not. Young children have little to no idea about the foster care system and teens are often least interested to recount embarrassing details. Unless you are a certified child therapist, it is best not to attempt a therapy session. Keep in mind that they had to be put into foster care for a reason and that reason is probably something traumatic that they might not be comfortable sharing with you. It is perfectly alright to ask other questions such as which sport they like and what teams they support. They can even be good icebreakers, even if you two do not support the same team. 

Don’t Stop Listening

If a child does decide to share anything about their situation, though, you should listen and pay attention. What foster carers must not do is give them the impression that they are not interested in listening. Some foster care providers ignore what the children are saying to them. They may also tell their foster child to save it for the therapy sessions later. Both these actions are mistakes and terrible choices as far as interaction with any child is concerned.

Such actions make children feel unimportant, embarrassed, and unwelcome. They are likely to suppress more and that never ends well. If you are busy at any specific time with something else, tell them that you will listen to it with better attention later. However, they cannot be empty promises and you must not break them. Set a reminder if you must, but don’t forget. 

Don’t Demean Anyone in their Family

Whether they have been abused or orphaned, never say anything negative about their family. This is a sound piece of advice even if you feel like the family member(s) fully deserves the verbal bashing. In most cases, a child in foster care will not take to it well. Even if they do not say anything outright, they would probably be embarrassed or hurt emotionally.

Becoming a foster carer is demanding but rewarding. If you are a good listener, have experience in raising children, and you are genuinely interested in fostering children, check with for well-paid opportunities in Aberdeen.

Lend an ear to their woes when they are willing to talk about it, but do not bring it up or say anything negative about their biological parents and/or siblings. Being right should be of little importance to a foster parent because the emphasis should be on just being there.

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