The decision and process to become a foster parent is not an easy one and once a child is placed into your home- this decision can be tested, due to many reasons. One of the many reasons is due to the child’s behaviors.
With the mission of ASCF to address childhood trauma, we are working closely with a group of local foster parents that are participating in learning and applying the foster parent curriculum that ASCF plans to implement on our campus. The curriculum is one supported by The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) called Resource Parenting Curriculum (RPC). This training is specific to understanding a child’s history and how their trauma plays a role in the way the child interacts/ reacts to all parts of their life.
With the support of a Duke University Professor, Dr. Kristin Hoffman (JHACH)- who are certified trainers and Lindsey May, ASCF Director of Programs- ASCF is currently collaborating with the Safe Children Coalition and a “pilot group” of 7 foster parents (5 foster homes) on this curriculum. The foster parents have dedicated 8 weeks of their time, for 2 hours every Monday- to learn the approach to Trauma-Informed Parenting and how to parent a child, who has experienced trauma by seeing a child through a “trauma lens”.
As of week, 5, there have been some very eye-opening comments and “revelations” to what this training has done for the foster parents who attend. Comments from one foster parent was, “this needs to be taught from the beginning and everyone (legal, investigators, GAL’s and case managers) needs to understand this!” Another foster parent observed that he had to approach a child in the home- in a way that he was not used to, but once he applied what he had learned- the child smiled and began to approach the foster parent differently.
Wanting to address childhood trauma begins in different ways but supporting/ training the foster parents on the understanding of what “childhood trauma” can look like- will not only help the child, it will help the foster parent be a better parent and advocate for the child. In turn- changing the way the child sees themselves, caregivers and the world.