Sometimes foster caregiving becomes a master class in being calm amidst the storm. The trauma that some kids experience as foster youth can lead to big and challenging behaviors, making it hard sometimes for them to stay in one foster home until they can be reunited with their parents, or adopted if they can’t be. Multiple foster care placements can make it difficult for kids to form secure attachments to their caregivers and can lead to even more challenging behaviors.
Amara foster caregivers Dana and Adam were determined to not let that happen when two young brothers, Ethan and Aiden, came into foster care and were placed with them. Both boys were in elementary school when they arrived, and one showed significant impacts from trauma. Amara’s foster caregiver trainings had prepared them for this possibility, so the couple was prepared. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and tempted to only foster one brother, Dana and Adam remained steadfast in their commitment to helping both boys heal, no matter what. Instead of disrupting the boys’ placement in their home, the couple changed and adapted their caregiving strategies to meet each of their needs, even if it meant changing strategies multiple times a day.
“They didn’t balk at any of the behaviors. They were really committed,” their Amara case worker explained.
Their commitment led Dana and Adam to work with the boys’ school to make sure they each had an Individualized Education Program so Ethan and Aiden had extra support at school. They also worked with the boys’ pediatricians to find care for their developmental delays, and Ethan received medication to treat a previously undiagnosed condition.
Dana and Adam also made sure the boys’ parents knew they could stay connected to their kids and worked to build a relationship with them. One parent made every effort to stay connected and worked hard to overcome their own trauma history to build a truly trusting partnership that, in time, helped them reunify with Aiden. Dana and Adam adopted Ethan, and now the extended family maintains their relationship. They enjoy activities with each other, and last year spent Halloween together so the brothers could trick-or-treat as a team.