There simply is no easy way to say good-bye. So much depends on your
family, the child, the community, and many other factors. The child's
age is an important element to consider. A very young child (under three)
is not likely to understand what is happening. Older children may know
exactly what is taking place and want to know all the details.
Has the child been a part of your family for one, two, or three months?
More than a year? Are there other children in your family? What relationship
do they have with your foster child? Sometimes the child is going back
to his or her family. Other times the child is moving into a different
foster home, an adoptive family, a group home, or independent living.
Does the child want to continue to have a relationship with your family?
Does the birth family want the child to have a relationship with your
family? Has the child been reunited in the past, just to be placed back
into foster care?
As you consider these and other questions and prepare to go through
the good-bye process remember that each foster family is unique and
each foster child is unique.
Remembering to keep the best interest of the child in ;your mind and
heart is probably the best way to determine how to say good-bye. Sometimes,
silence and a hug are the best answer.
Karon Lashaw lives in Alamance County, North Carolina.