There are currently thousands of children in care in the UK. While some children are placed in care because they have experienced abuse or neglect, others are placed in care because of a family breakdown. Whatever the reason, these children deserve to be well cared for and supported. This is where foster carers come in. Foster carers look after these children until they can be returned to their families. They do everything for them, from taking them to school to helping them cope with problems.
Unfortunately, in the UK, despite a considerable number of people enquiring about this role, there is a shortage of foster carers. One of the main reasons for this is that prospective foster carers worry that they will not be able to create a strong bond with a foster child. However, there are several simple things foster carers can do to increase their chances of bonding with a foster child. If you like the idea of being a foster carer and want to know how to bond with a foster child, check out the tips below. Bonding with a foster child is often much easier than you’d think:
1. Spend Time with Them
Perhaps the easiest way to bond with your foster child is by spending quality time with them. This doesn’t just mean having dinner together or being in the same room when they get home from school. It means spending quality time with them doing something they enjoy.
2. Listen to Them
Whether you’re fostering in Coventry or another part of the UK, there’s a high possibility that your child has been through some trauma. Foster carers who want to create a strong bond with their foster children need to be willing to listen to them about their experiences or anything else they want to discuss. However, you mustn’t force this conversation. Your foster child will talk to you when they are ready.
Another great tip to help you bond with your foster child is to praise them at every opportunity. If your foster child displays any kind of positive behavior, even if it’s only a small thing, make sure you tell them how proud you are of them.
4. Offer Physical Contact
Research suggests that bonding with a foster child can be enhanced by touch. Most children enjoy some form of physical contact, such as being hugged by their foster carers, or handholding. However, it’s essential to be aware that some children may have experienced physical abuse and may not appreciate this. Talk to your foster child about what is acceptable to them before you try any of these things.
While being a foster carer has many benefits, welcoming a new child into your home can be daunting. Many foster carers worry that they will struggle to create a strong bond with the children they are placed with. However, thankfully, this is very rarely the case. Most foster carers feel an instant bond with the children in their care.