Vol. 19, No. 2 May 2015
Social Connections and Self-Care
You've heard this before, but it is worth repeating: no one can do the demanding work of parenting children involved with the foster care system without a robust support system. For resource parents this system should include informal supports, such as family and friends, as well as more formal supports such as social workers, therapists, or coaches.
Indeed, social connections are so helpful that they have been identified as an important protective factor--a condition or attribute that mitigates or eliminates risk, even in the face of adversity. Extensive research has confirmed what people have known for millennia: that friends, family members, neighbors, and other members of a community provide the emotional support and concrete assistance that all parents need. Networks of support connect parents to assistance in times of need and serve as a resource for parenting information or help solving problems.
Including other foster and adoptive parents and kinship caregivers in your support networks can be tremendously helpful. When your emotional well is running dry or you start to think you are alone in your struggles, talking and spending time with others who understand what you're going through can be a lifesaver. See the list below to find an association or support group in your area. If your community doesn't have one, consider starting one yourself!.
~ Family and Children's Resource Program, UNC-CH School of Social Work ~