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Workshops for Foster Families & Professionals

A Child’s Song is pleased to offer the following workshops for foster families and professionals:

Please contact us if you would like to inquire about booking a workshop for your group.
Please check the Calendar for information about upcoming events hosted by A Child’s Song.

Exceptional Parenting: Caring For Traumatized Children

If you are a parent through adoption, fostering, or raising a relative – you know that a high level of care giving is required to meet the needs of your child.

All children who have been abused, neglected, witnessed violence or had multiple caregivers have experienced some degree of trauma. These experiences can interfere with the typical course of development for children. Traditional discipline responses are ineffective and often counterproductive for traumatized children. Yet the behaviors of the children often leave parents feeling unsure of how to best meet their child’s needs.  Even when these children are placed in a safe, loving home they often continue to respond in ways that were previously adaptive but are no longer necessary.

This workshop will offer insight, and practical strategies, to increase parent confidence in meeting the needs of their children.

Transitioning Children from Foster Care to Adoption: Role of a Foster Parent

Transitioning a child from foster care to adoption is a complex process with significant implications on the future development of the parent-child relationship. Supporting transitions for children in your care can be a confusing, and at times, discouraging process for caregivers.

The purpose of this presentation is to explore the needs of children transitioning from foster care to adoption, and then to provide guiding principles that support more effective, research-based ways to support the process.

Through the use of case studies, video clips, and visual representations, caregivers will develop a deeper understanding of children’s needs during transition, and what they can do to help. Guidelines for caregivers will be provided that can support decision-making and best practices during the process.

This workshop compliments Transitioning Children from Foster Care to Adoption: Best Practices for Professionals so that professionals and caregivers are working within the same framework using the same guidelines.

You may also be interested in our resource manual Transitioning Children from Foster Care to Adoption available for purchase from our online store.

Settling the Alarm System through Play and Sensory Strategies

Children with early histories of trauma and attachment disruptions are chronically dysregulated and this makes them difficult to parent. Foster parents need strategies that will calm the nervous system of the child and make it possible to build trust and connection.

This workshop looks at the use of play and sensory interventions that help to keep kids regulated and calm. Specific strategies and interventions will be offered that will help foster parents to meet the child’s real need, rather than just responding to behaviors. A specific parent child play is described and demonstrated so that parents can immediately implement this tool. Sensory interventions that meet the needs of stressed kids are discussed, and specific strategies offered so that parents will leave with new tools and ideas.

Emotional Experience of the Foster Parent

It is crucial that foster parents understand and know how to process their own grief around loss when children come and go from their care. Their experiences often mirror the experience of the child who feels a loss of control and a loss of familiar relationships.

This workshop looks specifically at the difficult emotional experiences that are inherent in the role of a foster parent. Foster parents will be supported to put into words their experiences, and discuss the process of healthy grieving that is so crucial to continuing to provide the kind of care children in foster care require.

Understanding the Complexity of Birth Family Relationships

Many children in foster care have the opportunity to remain connected to members of their biological family, and we know that these relationships are so very important to the child’s sense of identity and wellbeing.

Navigating the specifics of visitation with birth family can be very stressful for caregivers and decision makers. The needs of the child are often in conflict with adult needs.

This workshop explores the different ways children can remain connected to birth families as well as some basic principles for establishing visitation arrangements that are child-focused with respect to all areas of development. It will also offer some insight into the child’s experiences of birth family visitation and strategies for caregivers to support children in transitioning before and after visits.

Preparing Foster Families for Transitions

In planning for post-adoption visits, consideration needs to be given to the child’s social and emotional development and previous attachment experiences.

This workshop explores what we know, through both research and clinical experience, about the way children transition between caregivers, how they process grief and loss and what eases the pain of these changes. Practical strategies are explored for planning the frequency, length of time and location of visits to suit the individual needs of children. Troubleshooting potential conflicts, and managing expectations, will also be explored so that participants feel they are well equipped to handle common concerns that may present.

Understanding and Managing Difficult Behaviors: Strategies for Temporary Caregivers

Managing difficult behaviors is one of the greatest challenges for foster parents. Many children in care have received harsh and abusive treatment from someone that was meant to keep them safe, and subsequently, have difficulty trusting caregivers. The behaviors they exhibit developed in response to their previous environments and are therefore quite adaptive in nature. When the child is moved into a safe environment they often continue these behaviors unnecessarily and it can be very frustration for foster parents.

This workshop looks at the various reasons why children have developed the behaviors they exhibit and what the need behind the behavior is. The facilitator will also help foster parents to explore possible responses to behaviors that ensure they do not activate the child’s fear system, but at the same time set firm limits, to ensure the child’s safety and wellbeing.

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