Foster Parent's Behavior: Labelling Children

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PREVENTING AND MANAGING MINOR BEHAVIOUR PROBLEMS
The distinction between changing and managing behaviours is important. Changing behaviours learned over a long period of time involves detailed assessment followed by purposeful, direct work with the child. This is often done with therapeutic guidance from the treatment plan. Such a plan would be shared with the foster provider at the beginning of the relationship with the child, in order to develop an individual care plan together. Assistance will be provided by the assigned CSA in implementing the recommendations made in this plan.

Managing behaviour involves placing positive boundaries on a child’s behaviour in a safe and acceptable way which allows that person the opportunity to develop self-control within their capabilities. The success of managing
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Foster parents should at all times be conscious of the effects of labelling children. Often times, children who come into care will test the boundaries. They also have varying boundaries based on their experience and developmental age. Children need structure and boundaries to feel safe, secure and valued, but these should be reasonable, understandable and fair. Children should be involved through family meetings in deciding on the appropriate boundaries. These boundaries should be reviewed regularly and children should be made fully aware of the expectations of the foster parents upon placement. The child tries to see what they can get away with and what reaction they get from the adult. How the adult handles confrontation is crucial. Foster parents should be straight forward, firm and unexcited. Foster parents should not become “rattled” or frightened by a child’s behaviour. If the foster parent is too harsh, the child will shy away. An important note to remember is that some children will constantly test the boundaries established by the foster

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