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Foster Care and Adoption Services

Kindergarten Guide

My first exposure to the field of adoption was during my graduate field placement. One of my first memories of social work was walking with a couple through the process of a domestic infant adoption. Since that time, I have had the privilege to work with children in foster care, children adopted from foster care, and children adopted internationally. Each family's adoption journey is as unique as the children that have entered their lives through adoption. 

Often children adopted internationally or through foster care have not had consistent and nurturing care. If a child has experienced chronic neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse, he/she may have difficulties adjusting to his/her adoptive family. The negative impact of maltreatment on children is extensive and well documented - child neglect and abuse have been shown in repeated studies to be positively correlated with a multitude of serious deficits in childhood which may extend beyond the childhood years without intervention. Examples of the impact of maltreatment include developmental delays in young children; parent-child attachment problems; depression; anxiety; acting out aggression and rage; low self esteem; social/peer relationship problems; and post traumatic stress symptoms. 

The benefits of therapy for an internationally adopted child or a child adopted from foster care include: 

  • helping a child to build a trusting, positive relationship with his/her parent)s);

  • address feelings of grief and loss;

  • decrease anxiety and/or depression;

  • improve self concept, self identity, and self-esteem;

  • reduce symptoms related to experience or maltreatment.

For the adoptive parent, therapy can provide a safe and supportive place where he/she can: 

  • process his/her own feelings related to his/her child's adoption experience;

  • learn the most effective ways to parent your child based on his/her background, attachment style, and personality;

  • help parent(s) grow a positive and enjoyable relationship with his/her child.

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