No, every child that comes into foster care does not have behavior issues because not every child deals with pain, loss, and grief the same way.
It is easy to see behaviors. What is harder to see is the root cause of the behaviors. Most children want to be accepted by society. Most children want to be loved and feel like they belong. We all know that behaviors can get in the way of that. So, why would these kids choose to do things that distance themselves from others and keep them from feeling loved?
That is the heart of the issue. Kids that come into foster care have gone through trauma; just being removed from your birth family is traumatic. Now, think about what leads them to coming into foster care in the first place…Arizona has continued to see a rise in Opiate and Meth use and, although substance abuse is not the safety reason that brings kids into care, we know that many of the safety issues these kids have faced are caused by substance abuse issues. Kids have learned that adults will not meet their needs. They have learned that they need to protect themselves and that the world around them is a scary place filled with many unknowns. When we start looking at kids through the lens of ,”how do I chip away at the hurt and protective layers,” instead of viewing them through the behaviors, we can make a lasting impact.
Whether you are a foster parent, a teacher of a child in foster care, the mom or dad of one of their classmates, a coach, or just their neighbor, we all can help them move forward by changing the lens in which we see them.
Thank you for your great question! If you have questions, send them to #youaskedfa or Kim@fosteraz.com