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How to Stay in Touch With Your Foster Children

You knew your Foster child would be gone someday, but that didn’t prevent you from treating foster care as if it were a permanent arrangement.  Those relationships were as important to you as they were to the foster children you took into your home.  And even though you want to maintain contact, it can be more challenging than you might imagine.

You may be asking yourself these questions:

  • Should I stay in touch? 
  • If so, what’s the best way to go about it? 
  • What if I’ve already lost contact? 
  • How can I find my adult foster child? 

Why You Should Keep in Touch After Foster Care

As a foster parent, you never held back, so you treated your foster children as if they were your own.  You knew how critically important it was to their sense of stability and belonging.  It still is.  So even though your foster children reunited with their birth families, got adopted or moved on to another foster care situation, you want them to know that you haven’t forgotten.  

You can and should maintain contact.  Keep in touch by following these suggestions.

How to Stay in Touch With Your Foster Children

Treat the Birth (or Adopted or Foster) Parents With Respect

When your foster children leave, you must work hard to gain the trust of their new family.  This may mean you have to put aside your personal feelings and dig deep to empathize with them.  Ask rather than assume.  If you want to say hello, don’t just show up at the door of the school when the final bell rings.  If you demonstrate respect and support for the other family, they are more likely to allow you to be part of the child’s life.

Email, Text, Skype, Phone or Snail Mail

After you get the other family’s blessing, you can email, text and call your foster children.  Keep your communications upbeat and positive, and respect the boundaries established by the other family.  If they don’t establish boundaries, ask.  For example, is a bi-weekly phone call acceptable? Is it OK if you send a care package of the child’s favorite snacks?

Keep Your Word

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a lack of routine and structure is a large contributor to mental health issues, which are rampant among children and teens in foster care.  Just as it was important when you were foster parenting, it’s still critical that you keep your word.  If you commit to showing up at the child’s eighth-grade graduation, make sure you’re there.  

Ask to Be Included in Events

Children experience many milestones and events during their lives that provide opportunities to share.  In addition to birthdays and graduations, you can attend sporting events, recitals and the “this-report-card-deserves-an-ice-cream-sundae” celebration.  If you can’t find an excuse to get together with the child, be creative and come up with some of your own.  You can even include members of the other family.  For example:

  • Plan a nature walk on Earth Day
  • Take your gear and tackle to the nearest lake on National Fish Day
  • Pose for pictures and post them on social media for National Foster Care Day 

If You’ve Lost Touch

What happens if you’ve been out of touch with your foster child for years? How can you find him or her? If the child is 18 and no longer under the jurisdiction of a foster care agency, it’s still not too late to rekindle the relationship.  You can use Spokeo to find phone numbers and other information.  On Spokeo, you can even find a gmail account by name.  If the name is a common one, you can add additional information in the search criteria, such as employer or location, for example.   

Need to Know More Before You Reach Out?

 If you’d like to know about the adult your foster child has become, you can also use Spokeo to conduct a background check, which will provide information such as criminal history and current living situation.  Armed with information, you can make an informed decision whether you want to initiate contact.  

Of course, Spokeo can also provide more information about the adults in a minor child’s current living situation.  

Easier Than Ever to Maintain Foster Care Relationships

Everyone understands the rules: Foster care is temporary.  But that doesn’t stop the heart from getting involved.  That turns out to be lucky, because children who may already feel displaced, or even discarded, might believe they just weren’t important enough to be loved.  

Fortunately, technology makes it easier than ever to maintain relationships and feel secure about the people you bring into your life.   

Sources:

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5797187/
  • https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/healthy-foster-care-america/Pages/Mental-and-Behavioral-Health.aspx
  • https://nationaltoday.com/national-go-fishing-day/
  • https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-foster-care-day-first-tuesday-in-may/

The post How to Stay in Touch With Your Foster Children appeared first on The Compass.



This post first appeared on Spokeo People Search Blog | Famous People News Of The Day, please read the originial post: here

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