Re-Learning Warmth for Britain’s Disadvantaged Kids

Growing up in a foster care environment can be a rough experience, especially for the many children who are placed in homes under Britain’s public health and social services. Often coming from broken homes and traumatic events and circumstances, children placed in foster care may receive the basic necessities from their new homes, but many may be given inadequate resources for establishing happy and healthy lives. Recently, a report from the House of Commons decried the treatment of children receiving care and aid from the state, noting that children are moved frequently from one place and one family to the next, often miss out on significant portions of academic work, and are released into society at large prematurely.

In tandem with addressing these issues, two mental health professionals from the UK have advocated a model they produced to help caregivers of disadvantaged children not only provide the basic strategic necessities that children in their care deserve, but to help them understand and integrate meaningful pathways towards loving care and emotional bonding. The pair note that while many caregivers experience an impulse to reach out to the children they serve, many may feel restricted by the prejudices of modern society, which can sometimes view any sort of emotional caring and touch as inappropriate.

Instilling caregivers and, vicariously, the youth in their homes with a sense of powerful and appropriate affection can go a long way towards improving the experiences of all parties involved, suggests the team. By rounding out social services with positive policies that take a real-world look at the tools children need to develop and flourish as well as initiatives that help create emotional and mental health, Britain –and other countries seeking to serve children better– can help their good go further.

© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Watson


    September 29th, 2009 at 10:23 AM

    While there is no doubt that no amount of care can replace a parent’s concern and care, such foster care centres must try hard to get as close as possible and this is not possible without dedicated and honest workers at their facilities. People should be educated about the condition of children under foster care so that they have a feeling to take good care of them and make them feel at-home…

  • Rachael


    September 29th, 2009 at 3:08 PM

    I had been to an orphanage a few months ago and just the sight of kids there moved me… More and more people need to be sensitized regarding the issue of children who do not have parents to care for them, nobody to love them… they deserve the love and care from each one of us as much as possible.

  • Elizabeth R.

    Elizabeth R.

    September 29th, 2009 at 6:33 PM

    The high school I went to had a children’s home in its catchment area and we had kids from there. You would see them get placed in foster homes because they would disappear to go live in a new area, only to return to the school again months later because they had been sent back to the home. It was very sad. Growing up is hard enough.

  • Francis W.

    Francis W.

    October 8th, 2009 at 2:55 PM

    How tragic that staff can’t show affection in case their actions are deemed inappropriate. Of course we should never put children at risk and there are horror stories from decades past of abuse in caregiving facilities that no one wants to see repeated. Is it right though to starve them of the love they need so much? You can’t blame the staff whatsoever for protecting themselves.

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