Foster arrangements can come to an end for all kinds of reasons, it might be a natural end to proceedings and the child is returning to their natural parents or the arrangement simply isn’t working for either party. In any event, it is a difficult thing to deal with which means an upheaval in the lives of all concerned. However, even though it will doubtless be a painful experience there are ways to make the break as positive as possible.
Be Clear in the Communication
You may assume the end of the arrangement itself will not have lasting effects on the child in question but the reasons behind the change which are put across are likely to strike a chord. Therefore, it is important to be clear and positive as possible. If there is blame to be apportioned, it is likely that it will fall on both sides and it is vital that the child understands it is not all their fault. Communicate with them in a serious manner and be careful to preserve their feelings and confidence as much as possible.
Make Sure everyone is involved in the Conversations
Such conservations need to be had with everyone concerned in the change in circumstances this will include your family, the foster agency, the child and, if appropriate, the family to whom they are moving. It is important to ensure everyone is on the same page with these conversations and that the child is not getting mixed messages which will leave them confused and issues unresolved.
Mark the End with a Gift
Such conversations should come with the aim of marking the end of the child’s time with the family. This should also come with a positive note in the form of a gift or maybe a gathering with the whole support network (friends, extended family, foster agency representatives.)
Appreciate what you Have Done for the Child
There will inevitably be a feeling of loss when you say goodbye to the child who has been in your care. However, it is important you draw all the positives which will doubtless have come from the situation. Think about what you have learned about yourself, and your family and how you can use these lessons in the future.
Look to the Future
This experience of fostering will have informed your feelings about whether the process is for you. Think long and hard about where you want to go next in the world of foster care. Remember that every foster situation is different and advisers from agencies can talk you through the different options available. There is also plenty of information around the internet on the fostering process as well as a placement coming to an end.