Caring for Children & Youth

Helping Children in Care Build Trusting Relationships

Helping children learn how to trust can be a big task for a foster parent. Most kids in care have experienced abuse or neglect and have experienced losses. This tip sheet offers some guidance on helping foster families encourage the children in their home to create these positive, trusting relationships.

Adoption Focused Books

Sharing through books on adoption topics can be a great way to explain adoption to your children. ARW’s library has a number of books on adoption topics at various developmental stages available to check out. Included are some popular titles and topics and other resources for parents to check out.

Empowering Your Children to Share Their Adoption Story

Sharing an adoption journey is a unique very personal story for a child to share. This tip sheet includes some tips for parents on whom and what is appropriate to share. Also, are some tips on using positive adoption language.

Adoption in the Media and Entertainment: Books, Television and Movies

There is a lot of information about adoption out there for kids, but what is appropriate and factual? Here are some suggestions and questions to ask yourself before watching a movie or picking out a book for you and your child.

Respecting the Confidentiality of Children in Care and Their Families

Knowing what to share and with who can be confusing for a foster parent. This tip sheet provides information on what is ok to share, what is not and who to go to when you’re just not sure. It also gives some ideas on how to re-direct questions you are not able to answer and the potential consequences of divulging private information.

The Journey of Forgiveness: How to Teach Your Children

Teaching children forgiveness can be a challenging task. Included are some ideas on how to teach your children forgiveness as well as some books and movies that may aid you in this process.

Sibling Conflict in Adoptive Families

Siblings often argue and fight; a part of life, right? However, sibling rivalries and arguments can be more complex in an adoptive family since family connections were made differently. Included are some reasons why it happens, how to avoid it, and some ideas on how to deal with it when it does happen.

Making a Positive Difference

Discipline is about teaching and when faced with challenging behaviors that can be tough to keep in mind. Youth in care often times present challenging behaviors and parenting challenges. This tip sheet offers some suggestions on discipline, staying calm, and how to utilize teachable moments.

What Do These Behaviors Mean?

Lying, stealing, food hoarding and defiance are some of the more challenging behaviors for foster parents to face from the children in their care. Fear, stress, and habit can contribute to the core of these issues for youth in care. This tip sheet provides some suggestions on how to manage these behaviors as well as some additional resources.

The 411 on Social Media, Networking and Texting

Technology can be a wonderful thing, but there is a lot out there! Here’s a quick guide to some current popular types of social media and ways of communication that many youth use today. Also, are some frequently asked questions and answers from foster parents about rules surrounding this way of communication.

Welcome Home Books: Building Connections

A welcome home book is a special gift for a new child coming into care or being adopted to help with the new transition. A welcome home book can help a new child in the home feel welcome and introduce him or her to her the new family they are becoming a part of and the new environment they will be living in. Included are some tips on what to include and how to get started.

Help! My Child Runs Away!

A child running away can be a scary thing for a parent to deal with. This article provides some insight into why children sometimes run away and warning signs to look for. Also included is what to do when your child is missing, what to do when they return, and some ideas that may help prevent them from running away.

Internet Safety Tips for Caregivers

The Internet can be a wonderful and sometimes scary place for kids and parents. Included are some suggested ground rules to help keep the children in your home safe from predators, privacy scams, bullying, and inappropriate content.

By the Grace of Foster Parents: Fostering Pre-School Age Children

This tip sheet shares some examples of behaviors and interventions to help deal with challenging behaviors or issues. There are also suggestions on how to prepare a younger child for transitions and a sample transition plan.


Looking for the right summer camp for your child? Here are some suggestions and options to look into for the child you are caring for. Included are websites and telephone contact information to research the right camp.

Supporting Youth who Transition out of the Foster Care System at Age 18

Preparing youth in care for the adult world can be quite a task. Included are some suggestions to help you get the child in your home ready for life out on their own. From employment to education to additional services and supports they may qualify for; here are some ideas how to help your child transition into adulthood.

Establishing Household Rules

A new placement in your home provokes a lot of questions for not only you, but also for the child coming into your home. Here we have outlined some things to discuss with the child, caseworker, parent, and/or previous placements, keeping in mind the child’s age, development, culture, and prior experiences. Knowing what to expect and what is expected can reduce the anxiety for a child coming into your home and help to make the transition smooth.

Building on Social Skills: Fostering Success

Teaching and modeling appropriate social skills is easier said than done. Some kids pick up social cues more easily than others. This tip sheet provides foster parents some tools to identify gaps in social skills, help the child identify feelings, and to help the child manage emotions and behaviors. Also, are suggestions on how to practice with the child in your home appropriate social skills to help them build social awareness.

Fostering a Child whose Parent is in Jail or Prison

Many children in our country have a parent in jail or prison, this is also a common experience for children in care to have a parent in jail or prison. Included are some suggestions on how to help the child in your home cope with some of the feelings of having a parent incarcerated. Also, suggestions on how to prepare yourself and the child in your home for visitation when a birth parent is behind bars.

Effective Management of Crisis Behavior

Included are the three stages of crisis and suggestions on how to manage behavior. Outlined are situations to be aware of, behavioral changes to take notice of, and what to do after an outburst occurs.

Supporting Kids from Families who are Affected by Drugs

Alcoholism and drug dependency affect many youth in care. This tip sheet provides some insight into youth who come from these environments, signs for you to look for, and strategies and interventions to utilize.

Fostering Older Youth

People are often intimidated by the idea of fostering teens and older youth. This tip sheet shares not only some strong reasons why you may consider being a foster parent for an older youth, but also the need for more foster home for this age group, and some personal stories, as well.

Fostering a Child Whose Sibling(s) Live Elsewhere

When siblings enter foster care, the goal is to keep the children together whenever possible. Sometimes, however, this cannot happen for a variety of reasons. If you find yourself fostering a child whose siblings are living somewhere else, there are ways you can support, connect, and assist that child through the emotions and confusion that may come up.

Final Preparations: Getting Yourself & Your Child Ready for Adoption Finalization

Many parents eagerly await their child’s adoption day for months or even years. For other families, their child has been living in their home or a part of the family for a long time, and the adoption day has been anticipated for some time. No matter your adoption journey, it can be helpful to know what to expect and how to prepare as a family to celebrate this monumental occasion.

Helping Teens in Care Transition to Adulthood

The potential for teens in foster care is limitless. Many former foster youth have accomplished amazing things and achieved great success as valued members of their community. Like most successful adults, these teens owe their success to the caring and concerned adults in their life, especially foster parents, who helped shepherd them along the path to successful adulthood. However, many teens who leave the foster care system are not fully prepared to live on their own. This makes the role of fo

You Hold The Missing Piece of the Puzzle: The Importance of Documentation

Documentation is very important to the child in your home and an essential part to their case. But knowing what to document can be a bit of an overwhelming task for a foster parent. Here are some examples of what and how to document important events and behaviors you may observe of the child in your home.

Not Too Old for Forever: Adopting an Older Youth

When an individual leaves foster care as a young adult, without a permanent family, it is known as “aging out.” Youth who age out of foster care face many challenges that they are not equipped to deal with on their own, without the love and support of a family. In fact, youth who age out of foster care are far more likely to become homeless, chronically unemployed, and have frequent interactions with the criminal justice system. Wisconsin needs more families to say “yes” to teens; Wisconsin need

Missing Pieces

How much do you know about your child? Parents who adopted internationally, those who experienced a closed adoption, or whose child was relinquished through the Safe Haven law in Wisconsin may find that they know very little about their child’s medical, social, or birth family history. So, why is this important? Most children and youth who were adopted will someday look to find out about their birth family members or will have questions about their pasts. This tip sheet looks at what you can do

Through the Lens of Adoption: Understanding Child Development & Adoption’s Impact

Your life, and your family’s life, after finalization is an entirely new phase of your adoption journey. We now know that even children who were adopted at birth or as an infant may have been affected by the trauma of separation or may have been impacted by the stress a birth mother felt during pregnancy. At times, you may question if what your child is facing or how he is behaving is a result of everyday child development or if the impacts of adoption are making themselves known.

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Copyright © 2018 Coalition for Children | Youth | Families, formerly Adoption Resources of WI