Caring Support for Foster & Adoptive Parents
Supporting Parents with Unique Family Challenges
We partner with foster and adoptive parents in resolving the often confusing transitions and losses that foster/adoptive children experience. read more >>read less <<
In addition to helping your child, our role is to assist you in understanding and supporting your child through these challenges.
Foster Parents: Foster parents are often bewildered by the foster care system and legal system. We can help you understand:
- What normally happens as you interface with the people and systems that are part of your life as a foster parent
- The resources that are available to you and your foster child
- The struggles your biological children may experience in response to your foster child
Adoptive Parents: Even though it is a relief and very exciting to finally adopt your child, there can be some concerns after the adoption is finalized.
- Often children only truly “safety test” you and your commitment after the adoption
- Your child may not be able to fully work through past issues, which may depend specifically on developmental levels, before the security of adoption
Helping Children Deal with Trauma, Loss, and Abuse
We understand that while foster care and/or adoption places a child in a healthier situation, the child is likely to experience the move as a traumatic loss. read more >>read less <<
Therapy Specific for Foster and Adoptive Families
We uncover the inherent strengths in your child and utilize those strengths in working out the concerns. At the same time, we understand that your child has probably experienced multiple losses. Grief and loss issues may be difficult to detect.
Traumatic losses for your child may include the abusive or neglectful parents (even though this may seem illogical), as well as:
- family members
- living environments
Attachment and Relationship Enhancement Therapy
Parents gain insight into their child’s behaviors and feelings by learning to conduct play therapy sessions under a therapist’s direction. According to research, when families participate in this form of therapy, the child’s problem behaviors decrease and the parents learn who to “read” their child’s play to understand underlying concerns.
Neurodevelopmental and Neuropsychological Testing
This highly specialized form of testing goes beyond standard psychological testing by providing comprehensive, detailed information about the neurological, developmental and psychological aspects of a child.
Especially helpful when a child’s early history is unknown, this testing sorts out questions of learning disabilities and developmental delays for children who have had:
- fragmented school experiences
- a history of school failure
- major medical illness
- suspected prenatal drug and alcohol exposure
- traumatic injury
Advice from Other Parents Who Have “Been There”
Read the advice given by first-time and long-time foster parents as well as parents who have adopted children formerly in state custody. read more >>read less <<
We asked first-time and long-time foster parents as well as parents who have adopted children formerly in state custody to pass along their best advice. Here’s what they suggest:
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Utilize as many resources as possible
- Create your own support system
- Your child’s reactions often come from his/her past
- Be in tune with your intuition and nurturing hunches
- Make caring for your marriage a priority
- Learn about trauma, attachment, anxiety and so forth
- Although tiring, don’t stop advocating for your child
- This is “heart work” so at times your heart will be broken
- Behaviors aimed at you are usually not personal
Adoptive Parents of Children from Other Countries
The issues faced by children adopted from other countries can differ from children who are adopted from the foster care system.Your child may experience grief related to the loss of the familiar—food, smells, language, caregivers, customs—even if he/she only experienced these things as an infant. There can also be issues that arise specifically about adoption at each developmental level.
Utah Foster Care Foundation
Wellspring teams with the Utah Foster Care Foundation to support foster parents through in-service trainings and newsletters. The Utah Foster Care Foundation is committed to not only helping find stable, caring foster families, but they also provide valuable support to current foster parents through information, trainings, and events.