by Linda Rieger
Placement in foster care can be a confusing and frightening time for a child. Many children in foster care are dealing with not only the trauma that took place in their home of origin, but also the ordeal of being uprooted and placed in a new home. They are often separated from siblings, other family members and friends. They may have no contact with anyone in their lives who they consider a support during this difficult time.
These children may be struggling with the following issues:
- Feeling alone and abandoned
- Feeling unwanted
- Feeling ambivalence about accepting foster parents as parents
- Feeling a strong desire to return to birth parents regardless of the situation
- Feeling a lack of control about decisions being made about them
- Feeling a sense of hopelessness about the future
In all situations children express and cope with their feelings in the only way they know how which can lead to acting out and other behavior issues. The comprehensive work/activity book written by a school counselor is intended to help the counselor gently guide each child through the process of dealing with this difficult time.
The child will have the opportunity to express the turmoil he’s been experiencing and the resultant effects in his life. Positive coping strategies are introduced and discussed. The child can be taught how to use these strategies effectively so they can grow emotionally and deal with the current situation in a constructive way. The child’s responses to the activities can help the counselor assess the depth of emotional instability and the progress the child has made in dealing with the issues involved.
The accompanying counselor’s guide contains detailed presentation information and talking points for each activity in the workbook as well as additional resources including: Definitions of terms and roles common in foster care, tips for foster parents and guardians, as well as sources for additional information. This workbook can be used in individual or group sessions, with or without the foster parents present.
This includes one copy of the workbook in English and Spanish and the counselor’s guide (English only) as well as the complete program on CD for easy reproduction.
Additional copies of the workbook are available in English and Spanish.