The experience of being a foster parent can be simultaneously rewarding and exhausting. To provide the best possible home environment foster parents must offer unconditional love and acceptance to the child in their care. Sometimes children respond to their affection but too often past hurt and trauma leave children exhibiting challenging behaviors that make it hard to be close to them. Often foster parents feel that they know their foster child best but have very little influence over the decisions made for them. When a child leaves a foster parents home there is often unresolved grief and loss that is not widely acknowledged or treated.
Foster parents may feel that being able to process their own experiences with fostering will help them to be healthy and productive parents, family members and employees. If a foster parent has experienced their own trauma or significant loss they will find themselves triggered by the behaviors of the children in their care. By processing their own trauma they will be able to respond with less emotional intensity and more empathy to the children in their care.