Helping to Enhance Resilience in your Foster Child

Toutrek“Resilience refers to the qualities that cushion a vulnerable child from the worst effects of adversity and that can help a ‘child to cope, survive and even thrive in the face of great hurt and disadvantage’”. – Written by SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence – UK)

While it may not always be possible to protect a foster child from further adversity, finding ways to boost his/her resilience enhances their likelihood of being able to cope during future unfavourable circumstances (times of difficulty).

Resilience-enhancing factors include:

  • Building a sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy (be given age appropriate responsibilities and participating in valued activities)
  • Having access to at least one committed adult (such as a caring relationship with a foster carer)
  • Being happy and involved at school

Foster care should be able to offer children these opportunities.

Self-esteem is one of the fundamental building blocks of resilience.  Principally, self-esteem flows from positive attachment experiences.

Research finding:  Positive relationships, at any age in the life span, can help improve a poor self-concept. People who take an in-terest, who listen, who care and love us, make us feel better.  
They improve our image and bolster our self-esteem. Children who 
are not loved at home may nevertheless develop feelings of self-
worth if a foster parent responds with kindness and consistency.

Self-esteem is closely linked with developing a sense of self-efficacy or self-direction.  Self-efficacy grows from experience.  It is about qualities of optimism, persistence and believing that one’s own efforts can make a difference.  A person’s sense of self-efficacy is improved by opportunities to take responsibility or contribute to decisions which affect the minutiae or broader trend of one’s life.  Therefore giving foster children age appropriate responsibilities in and around the house, and providing positive (yet truthful acknowledgement and feedback) in completing these responsibilities, plays a key role in enhancing their self-esteem.

Self-esteem are also enhanced by  participation in valued activities.  It is about feeling successful, not simply academically, but also in other areas such as in relationships or in spare time activities.  This means that encouraging foster children to take part in school activities which they enjoy can be an important source of self-esteem for them.

– Written by SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence – UK)

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About Helouise Steenkamp

I'm a 45 plus, Devoted Wife and Mother. Adonai has blessed us with two Amazingly Wonderful Sons. We have had the privilege of being Place of Safety parents for 1 1/2 years and there after foster parents to a Darling Princess for 5 years. She was reconciled with her biological parents in Dec'14. Our hearts are still aching from the loss, but we know that as we trust Adonai with our salvation, so we can trust Him with her future. We welcomed our new 4 year old foster child on 05JUN'15.
This entry was posted in Foster Care Advice, Helping to bring Healing, Knitting Your Family, Parenting with Love, Resources / Hulpbronne. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Helping to Enhance Resilience in your Foster Child

  1. worried sister says:

    Hi, i hope this is the right place to write my question,
    I have a sister who is a drug addict, we have been trying everything to help her getting clean, but she relapsed every time thusfar, the problem is she has a seven year old son,who’s daddy past away 4 years ago in a car accident.
    my sister is totally out of it and is not in a place of caring for her son.
    she has been on the drugs for about a year now, before that she was a fantastic mother.
    she obviously hid away her relapses until the truth comes out.
    she was engaged to be married, both of them got hooked on the drugs, her fiance came clean
    and due to her relapsing all the time the engagement was broken off in november 2013 when my sister moved out and ended up living with my mom and stepdad with her son.
    during the whole process of trying to get her clean, her son has been taken care of by either me or my mom,
    i am 26 years of age, i recently got married to my wonderfull husband that is 40 years of age.
    we are stable and love the Lord dearly.
    is there a way either me and my husband or my mom and stepdad can have her son placed in our care legally untill she gets clean?
    we dont want to loose her son,or see him with strangers or in a orphanage.
    we all love him so much and he is such a awesome child,

    please could you help?

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