A child in the foster care system gets angry, acts out, or has a temper tantrum. They are labeled as “difficult” or “oppositional.”
But could these behaviors be an expected symptom of their grief?
Shenandoah Chefalo writes about this very topic in Youth Today. She convincingly argues that while we often allow for outbursts of a grieving person after the death of a loved one, we are not as likely to have that same understanding for a tough youth in foster care that may have lost all they have known and is familiar to them.
She reminds us that “These children have suffered a tremendous loss — a deep sadness and grief that often goes unrecognized and leads to deeper traumas.” It encourages those who care for youth in the system to remember that one of the most important roles of foster parents involves helping youth identify and cope with their grief.
To read more of Chefalo’s article, click here.