3 Tips to Quickly Build a Positive Relationship with Foster Children

Sometimes it may take some time to build a relationship with a foster child, but such barriers can be easily overcome by a caring adult with the right kind of knowledge, training, and relevant information. Therefore, the following suggestions should prove to be helpful for both aspiring and working foster carers.

Get Yourself Adequately Trained

Some foster children come into the system from disrupted homes, so knowledge about how to deal with them is crucial for building positive relationships. Fostering agencies provide training for their foster carers, which is designed to give you the skills and knowledge you need. Building and maintaining a positive relationship with foster children often requires specific knowledge and understanding of certain proven techniques, so training is essential.

If you feel inadequately trained for the kind of responsibilities given to you, you should contact your fostering agency and ask them for advice. In case they are not able to offer suitable help, consider changing your fostering agency. Fosterplus, for example, has local fostering agencies throughout the UK and they train all their chosen foster care providers even before pairing them up with their first child in care.

Initiate Communication but Don’t Push for Information

As mentioned, many foster children are taken into the system under difficult circumstances, so they may feel vulnerable, especially younger children. This means your foster children should be treated with compassion and empathy at all times. In general, the idea is to initiate a conversation about something that can be random or relevant to the child’s interests, to help them settle. Initiate the conversation, but don’t push for any kind of information. Favourite food is always a random but well-liked topic to consider.

Never ask them about their background or why they are in the foster system. If the child is willing to share, let them do it at their own pace and to the extent that they wish to, but don’t ask questions about any sensitive topics. If you need more information about their background, it should be provided to you by your agency. Given that some adults poke for information, your approach will in most cases put you in a different, and positive light. This approach will, in turn, help you establish a quick rapport with the child.

Ask and Plan Activities

These are the kinds of questions that you can ask, but not right after they get there. Give them some time to settle down first. Once they are settled, ask them about their preferred activities, games, sports, etc. Children like talking about things that they enjoy, so that in itself is a conversation starter.

After you have built the initial rapport, see what options you can avail to engage in a joint activity with them. It can be something as simple as watching a child’s favourite TV show together, or a gaming session with a teenager. As long as they are the ones who want it, it’s a winning situation.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.