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Therapists

If your child is required to attend therapy, it’s important to understand the role of the therapist on your foster care team. Therapists not only perform a role providing a needed service for your foster child, but they also provide important testimony in court proceedings. The therapists opinion is relatively important in court room settings for your foster child. How your foster child’s therapist views the child’s situation will weigh fairly heavily on the final outcome of your child’s case.

 

Many foster children are required to attend therapy at least once a week. Often, social workers will recommend therapy for a foster child and it is their job, in many states, to locate an appropriate therapist for a given foster child. Social workers often have experience with different therapists and have an opinion about which ones would be the most effective with your particular foster child. However, in some instances, social workers may not locate a therapist and may not recommend therapy without your urging. It may be up to you to find the right therapist to meet your foster child’s needs in a case like this.

 

Therapists vary greatly in terms of their expertise. A therapists personality can be an important part of choosing the right one for a particular foster child. If your foster child has not been recommended for therapy but you feel strongly that he or she would benefit from it, mention it to your social worker. Again, social workers are often bogged down and they simply may not have considered the need, or realized there was a need for therapy for your foster child.

 

Foster children often benefit from therapy if they seem to have a big wall up or if they have issues that you can see very clearly that the child actively denies or avoids. Therapy can definitely lighten the load for foster parents who typically have plenty of behaviors to target work on with their foster children. Remember, however, your foster child’s therapist will also play a role in court and more than likely be asked to express an opinion about your child’s case. What your child says and does in therapy will probably be recorded in detail and can be an important facet determining the direction that your foster child’s case may go.

 

Therapists often have a more receptive personality than some of the other people your child’s foster care team. Remember, these people listen at length to other people’s deepest secrets and heaviest burdens. Have mercy on them. They are often very caring people who really just want to help. At the same time, your foster child may not be able to connect with a particular therapist because of a personality difference. That’s normal and it doesn’t mean that the therapist is doing a bad job or doing something wrong. You may find that therapist does a great job working with a different foster child in the future.

 

Remember that your child’s therapist is an important part of the foster care puzzle. He or she will most likely admit information in court or testify about your foster child and make a recommendation about whether or not your child with be reunified with the birth parents, continue with foster care, or become available for adoption.

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