Building a Relationship with the Child

Being placed in a resource family home usually involves the pain of being separated from family. Even when told they are not the cause of the placement, children still may feel they are being punished or their parents are rejecting them. Regardless of the family problems, most children still have tremendous loyalty to their parents. A child will probably be self-conscious and will feel more comfortable if the resource family settles down to a routine as quickly as possible. Help the child understand and accept the rules of the home and the lifestyle gradually. He or she is not only adjusting to a new family, but to other children and possibly a new school and community as well. Even though the child may act confident, he or she may be hiding insecure feelings. Let the child know there is someone available to listen when he or she wants to talk. A receptive attitude will let the child know that his or her feelings can be shared, and he or she won’t be judged. You may find the child testing the limits. Many children, for example, respond to their insecurity and anger by refusing to eat, overeating, clinging, wetting the bed, withdrawing, becoming defiant or venting anger at their new resource family. This is something that many resource parents experience. With patience, the resource family can help the child learn that this placement is not punishment, but in this new home, people care.

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