For us as foster parents, to allow a foster child the utmost opportunity to prosper and heal, there exists (what I like to call) “The Top 10 Non-negotiables in Foster Care”:
- Always be bigger (grown up), stronger (emotionally), wiser and kinder than the child. This statement means that you must be the adult in the relationship, not the child = SELF CONTROL.
- Provide security for the child. Providing a set daily routine; Informing the child of what to expect (incl. changes to their routine); having a Positive Marriage Relationship with your spouse; and when necessary Taking Control (loving and appropriate discipline, in a controlled environment).
- Loving the child. Unconditional Love = Time = Playing = Positive physical contact.
- Giving acknowledgement. Verbal praise.
- Ascribing age appropriate tasks and responsibilities.
- Providing the child with new positive experiences. Such as going to the Zoo, going for a picnic, baking cup-cakes, washing the car with you, etc.
- Taking the child for therapy to establish attachment; and to help them heal from their past trauma.
- Finding a way to channel your own frustration, so that it doesn’t spill over at home. I strongly recommend PRAYER! Prayer will not only melt your frustrations away and give you new insight, but will also allow the LORD to provide you with crucial wisdom and guidance.
- Maintaining regular contact with other foster parents.
- Taking it step-by-step, hour-by-hour, and day-after-day.