A top priority of all parents should be the physical and mental health needs of your child. As a foster parent, this is especially true if your child’s needs are more significant due to prior maltreatment, lack of previous health exams, or a disability. The new responsibilities of scheduling, rescheduling, and tracking your child’s physical and mental health appointments may feel overwhelming while juggling the rest of life’s obligations. That’s why these strategies are here for you as you balance it all:
Have a calendar or make a list for appointments
It can be hard to keep track of everything happening in your own life, let alone in your child’s life. Keeping a calendar of your child’s appointments in your home, on your phone, at work, or in all these places can help take some stress away as you stay on track. Having a home calendar with your whole family’s appointments written down can be especially helpful as you manage everyone’s schedules, including non-health-related meetings, appointments, and home visits required for your child in care.
Keep detailed records of your child’s medical care
Make sure your agency provides all the necessary health information needed before going to any medical appointments with your child. Keep a record of every medical appointment you and your child attend, as well as detailed notes on what you, your child, and the healthcare professional discussed so that you can relay this information easily and accurately to your case workers.
Ask your assigned Case Worker or Supervisor for guidance (312) 346-3383
If you are having trouble scheduling appointments or finding appropriate health providers for your child, make sure to reach out to us. We can help point you in the right direction, so then you can take matters back into your own hands.
Understand your child’s specific health needs
It is critical for you as a parent or foster parent to be up to speed regarding your child’s particular health needs, such as allergies, diabetes, physical disabilities, or mental health issues.
Humans are social and emotional creatures. We have a range of feelings throughout each day, and a lot of us require frequent social interaction. Just like adults, children also have these needs. The difference is, as a foster parent, you are a crucial component of your child’s social and emotional development. One of the most critical aspects of helping your child develop social and emotional skills is understanding where they should be at with these skills in relation to their same-aged peers—are they reaching the milestones they are generally supposed to at their age?
Here are some ways to promote your child’s social and emotional development:
Buehler, Cheryl & Rhodes, Kathryn & Orme, John & Cuddeback, Gary. (2006). The potential for successful family foster care: Conceptualizing competency domains for foster parents. Child welfare. 85. 523-58.
1, 2, 3, & 4. (2006). The Potential for Successful Family Foster Care: Conceptualizing Competency Domains for Foster Parents. Child Welfare, 85(3), 523–558. https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/preparing_youth.pdf
Coakley, T.M., Cuddeback, G., Buehler, C., & Cox, M.E. (2006). Kinship foster parents’ perceptions of factors that promote or inhibit successful fostering. Children and Youth Services Review, 29, 92-109.
Franck, K. (2001). The characteristics of kinship and nonkinship care children and their families of origin. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Tennessee.
Jacobvitz, D. (2002). Promoting resiliency in children and youth living in low-income families. Paper presented at the annual conference of the National Council on Family Relations, Houston, TX.