“New Year! New Me!”
“New Year! New Me!” More like New Year, New foster child Goals.
It’s the beginning of the New Year and at this time we begin to make our new year’s resolutions and goals. We take this time to reflect on how we can be the best version of ourselves and be proud of the dedication and determination that we set. But In the world of a foster child, goals are automatically set for them when they are placed into care. Goal setting for a foster child is certainly an important part of the therapeutic process. Setting goals can bridge the gap between what they imagine in their mind to making it happen in the real world. It is important to understand that foster children are given these goals to make sure they can reach their transition to Permanency. Most foster children are moved around to so many placements that they cannot stick to the original goals, causing their current goals to be rewritten all over again. When foster children are frequently moved around it is difficult for them to establish trust, let alone creating a bond with you. Some foster children have had previous placements were the previous foster parents have never taken the time to work with them on their goals; leaving the foster child feeling as if their permanency goal is not achievable.
Some foster parents have experience having a foster child who has many therapeutic needs. At times it becomes a challenge in the beginning trying to have the foster child stick to the goals that has been set for them. Especially when the child has experienced a lot of trauma from their pass or previous placements and in addition to that; having multiple behavioral issues. But as foster parents go through this experience, they realize that it is their responsibility to do all that can; to be involved and dedicated to that foster child’s goals. And to making sure that their permanency goal is successful.
So how do you help a foster child reach their goals when you’re experiencing pure madness?
Well it is very important that you communicate with your treatment team. If goals are not working for the foster child, you have a full treatment team who will be there to collaborate on how they can make the goals for the foster child more achievable. Home visits are the perfect check-ins to show the FCC (Foster care consultant) and therapist that goals are being completed. And if during the visits the child is accomplishing all their goals well then you just throw a big party! But seriously, celebrate with the foster child because accomplishing a goal is not only a huge mile stone but a way of showing you that they have established a system of trust and support. Again these goals are set to create an efficient way that can help your foster child move forward in life. Finding ways to keep them motivated and feeling strongly empowered, In the end you are showing that foster child their own success and that is truly meaningful in the eyes of a foster child.
Dashai Thompson – NBFS Recruiter