If you’re a new foster parent, or considering becoming one, it can be helpful to know the possible behaviors that you may encounter. While each foster child is unique and will have their own perspectives and experiences, all foster kids have experienced the trauma of being separated from their biological family. It is important to remember that many of these behaviors are rooted in this and other trauma.
Common Behaviors in Foster Children
When caring for a foster child, there are some common behaviors you may notice. These behaviors may manifest differently based on the individual child’s age or level of maturity. Many of these behaviors are normal reactions to trauma; some of which include:
These behaviors in foster children are often rooted in attachment and trust issues. It's likely that your foster child will need lots of reassurance from you that they can trust you and rely on your support before they begin to connect with you. Remember, a child won't follow your directions just because you put a meal on the table and roof over their head; they first need to build trust and a bond with you. Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) is the gold-standard for building attachment with kids from hard places.
Learn the TBRI IDEAL Response to deal with these tough behaviors.
Behavioral Issues That Need Professional Attention
While arguably all foster children could benefit from therapy in some form, there are some behavioral issues that likely need more intense support. These include:
While caring for foster children can be challenging at times due to these behaviors, it can also be incredibly rewarding knowing that you are providing them with a safe environment where they can grow. As a foster parent, it is important to understand what typical behaviors may look like so that if any problems arise, you know how best to proceed with getting professional help for your foster child’s well-being.
I'm a foster mom, bio mom, working mom, special needs mom, busy mom. I'm also married to my high school sweetheart, I'm a proud 23-year childhood cancer survivor, and I'm passionate about serving my community.
More from FosterMama