The word “push” should not even be in your vocabulary in regards to children in foster care. In order for children to end up in your home as foster kids, they have already endured trauma. They have been taken away from the only family they have ever known and been thrown into an unfamiliar place. It is common for them to feel out of sorts and even defensive at first. Emotional and mental states at this point can be very fragile. You should never push the children to talk about anything they are not ready to discuss. Doing so could cause more harm than good.
The best thing that you can do is be kind to the children. Let them know that you are there for them and available to listen if ever they need you. Making yourself readily available is much different than pushing them for answers. As a result of their trauma, children in foster care are more likely to clam up if they feel pressure from others. You will get much more information if you let the children approach you on their own time and in their own way. The saying “You can catch more flies with honey” applies here.
It is understandable for you not only to be curious about the situation, but also have genuine concern for a child’s well-being based on the circumstances that landed him or her in foster care. If you feel that the trauma a child has experienced is something that needs to be addressed right away, you should contact his or her social worker for a referral to a counselor or mental health care provider. More often than not though, the children will come to you with their feelings if you allow enough time for them to become comfortable with you.
Ashley Foster is a freelance writer. She is a wife and mother of two currently residing in Florida. She loves taking trips to the beach with her husband and sons. As an infant, she was placed with a couple in a closed adoption. Ashley was raised with two sisters who were also adopted. In 2016, she was reunited with her biological family. She advocates for adoptees’ rights and DNA testing for those who are searching for family. Above all, she is thankful that she was given life. You can read her blog at http://ashleysfoster.blogspot.com/.