The Casey Foundation and the Justice Resource Institute developed ARC Reflections, a training curriculum to develop foster parents and caregivers’ understanding of traumatic stress, increase their own emotional regulation and provide tools to support their parenting skills. Session nine — the final meeting — addresses a key challenge: managing a child or teen’s transition to reunification or some other form of permanence, in a safe, supportive way. Facilitators help group members discuss how a foster placement might end, examine real-world factors that influence how children and caregivers experience this phase and review helpful transition strategies. Participants also have an opportunity to process their own transition as the ARC Reflections training ends.
Every session includes a check-in to increase awareness and engagement of participants; a facilitator checklist of session materials; practice activities and take home log for participants; a representative case study to follow throughout the sessions; and reflective questions for participant growth and understanding.
Foster parents learn a great deal of information about children and teens in their care and should find ways to share this information with others, such as clinical providers, case managers, educators and adoptive or biological parents.
Whether the transition to a new situation is perceived as a loss, a relief or a complicated mix, everyone in the family is undergoing a change in their relationships.
When children and teens know they are getting ready to transition from a foster home, difficult behaviors may emerge. These may be the child’s or teen’s attempt to cope.
Statements & Quotations
Although most transition plans focus just on the child or teen in foster care and his or her needs and experiences, don’t forget that more than one person is experiencing a relationship change. It is important to pay attention to the reactions and responses of every member of the family system.
Every child or teen who comes into your home will have something to teach you. Bring your curiosity to every new relationship so you can keep growing your toolbox over time.