Foster Children

  • Children who have been separated from their birth family experience a great deal of stress; this makes it vital to place them with another family who will accept them as their own.
  • Foster children often experience significant placement disruption, which can contribute to emotional-behavior problems (Smith, Stormshak, Chamberlain, & Bridges Whaley, 2001).
  • Constantly, having to adapt to new caregivers can contribute to attachment difficulties.
  • Approaches must consider children’s rights and family preservation, and foster families must be seen as part of a professional team.
  • Children in foster care frequently have experienced poverty and violence.  They often struggle with a history of neglect and mistreatment by their caregivers, grief for lost relatives and close friends, disorientation from the loss of their homes, multiple foster care placement transitions, and interaction with numerous systems of care (Lawrence, Carlson, & Egeland, 2006).
  • Foster children need to adjust to a new environment, which can sometimes involve fitting into a new culture.
  • These negative, inescapable experiences can impact the children’s neurobiology, with one consequencebeing long-lasting developmental impairment (Gomez, 2013).


Lawrence, C. R., Carlson, E. A., & Egeland, B. (2006). The impact of foster care on         development.Development and Psychopathology, 18, 57–76.

Smith, D. K., Stormshak, E., Chamberlain, P. & Bridges-Whaley, R. (2001). Placement    disruption in treatment foster care. Journal of emotional and behavioral disorders, 9(3), pp. 200–205.

Gomez, A. M. (2013). EMDR Therapy and adjunct approaches with children: Complex trauma, attachment, and dissociation. New York, NY: Springer Publishing company.