Father Son Holding Hands

Some Companies allow Foster Parents to take ‘Bonding  Leave’ after the initial placement of a child with them.  Here’s a compressed motivation of why it’s SO important to not just send your foster child to daycare/school the first few days after placement.

Foster children suffer both emotional and physical scars before being placed in foster care, due to the trauma, abuse and neglect they experienced and were exposed to.  The emotional trauma sustained by the child instills the conviction in their minds that adults (care providers) cannot be trusted with their safety nor to consistently care for their needs in a loving and nurturing way.  However, children don’t yet have the cognitive ability to understand the complex reasons and circumstances that led to their removal and the need to protect them there from.  Therefore their initial feelings on having been removed from their biological families are those of intense loss, fear, confusion, and uncertainty.  They have lost everything that has ever been known and familiar to them, no matter how bad the situation they were in, and are forced to live with complete strangers.

The for mentioned background makes it critical for at least one foster parent to be available to consistently assist, guide and nurture the child during and through this significantly difficult transition phase into the foster family.  If the foster parent is there to facilitate this phase it positively aids the crucial bonding (attachment) process between the foster child and his new caregivers.  Establishing bonding (attachment) between the foster child and his caregivers is extremely important, as this emotional connection helps the child to work through his trauma and move on to become a happy, productive and well adjusted adult.

Even if the company you work for does not allow for bonding leave, please devote some of your normal leave days thereto.  You will never regret having invested in this crucial bonding time.

Written by: Helouise Steenkamp


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 Creating Lasting Memories, Foster Care Advice, Helping to bring Healing, Parenting with Love, Trauma: The Impact on Children and How to Help them. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Clive Lang says:

    Hi Helouise, My wife and I are foster parents. We are 6 months in. We are fostering through Johannesburg Jewish Social Services.

    The child visits with her dad (supervised) and her mom once a week (unsupervised).

    It is coming to her third birthday, and like all parents we want to give her a special day. We are being told by Social Services that we “HAVE TO” allow the biological mother to come to her birthday party at school, which we are arranging. While we do communicate with the biological parents, we really don’t want her at the school birthday party.

    Can we refuse to have her there? We are more than happy to allow her time on the birthday or any other time for her mom to visit at a common location, to see her child, we just really don’t want her at the party. Please help!!!

    • Good afternoon. According to the new Children’s Law, foster parents are entitled to reasonable privacy – to help protect you as a family unit. For the same reason biological patents are not to have foster parents telephone numbers or physical address’s. You are therefore not obligated to accommodate her at the child’s school party, as this will breach your right to privacy, as well as endanger the child’s safety. She can have a separate party with her. Privacy is one of our few rights – stand firmly thereon. From: Foster Care in South AfricaSent: Wednesday 8 October 2014 11:45To: helouiseS@gmail.comReply To: comment+rd8qzuo28i9ze093amtbzvyk3t@comment.wordpress.comSubject: [Foster Care in South Africa] Comment: “MOTIVATION FOR FOSTER PARENTS TO TAKE ‘BONDING LEAVE’”

      a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; } a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; }

      /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */

Leave a Comment /or Share your Foster Care experience

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s