The Important Role Counseling Plays In Foster Care

Foster care can often be both a rewarding and challenging situation for children who are waiting to be adopted as well as for foster families. Counseling services are often made available to foster kids and foster families to help each person adjust to this life phase better. Here are some of the specific ways that counseling is often used in the foster care program.

Offer Advice on Preparing the Home

Before a foster child enters a new home, a counselor can advise a foster family on how to prepare the home so that the child will live in the best environment possible. The counselor can help prepare the family for how to better deal with certain challenges that may arise as well as the mental and emotional adjustments that foster families and foster kids often face. The counselor can also try to ensure that the family is in fact suitable and ready to welcome a foster child into the home.

Address Attachment Issues

Some children who are in the foster care system have difficulties bonding with their foster families, and counseling can help address attachment issues that could affect the mental and emotional well-being of everyone who is involved. A child who acts out in anger or rebellion or who becomes depressed and withdrawn because of attachment difficulties with their foster family may benefit from attachment therapy. This therapy is intended to break down trust and relationship barriers so that foster kids and families can grow closer.  

Provide Abuse Therapy

Children who come from abusive homes are often placed in the foster care system. A counselor can work to address the trauma that a child sustained from physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse and help the child find ways to process these traumatic memories with a healthier mindset. The counselor can also give a foster family the tools that are needed to help a child from an abusive home gain a better sense of trust and safety in their new environment. 

Offer Support If Changing Homes

The foster family may no longer be able to care for a foster kid, which means that the child will need to move to a new foster home if he or she is still a minor. This can be an emotionally challenging ordeal for both the foster child and the family that was providing care, and counseling can offer support and guidance during the process.

The ups and downs of foster care can be managed better with help from a qualified counselor. With the additional support that counseling provides, foster kids and foster families can benefit greatly.