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 John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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