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NCJ Number: 136521 Find in a Library
Title: Inner World of Children and Youth in Care
Journal: Community Alternatives International Journal of Family Care  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1992)  Pages:1-17
Author(s): E J McFadden
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 17
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the dynamics of the inner world of the child in foster care and advises both foster parents and clinicians on how to be respectful of this inner world.
Abstract: All children have a complex and multidimensional inner life that consists of imagination and fantasies. The inner lives of children in foster care are made even more complex by the history of maltreatment that preceded placement and by separation from their families. Children in foster care typically have difficulty in sharing their inner world because they have often been punished for talking or acting out their feelings; they also tend to be fearful of showing disloyalty to their parents, and they cling to the positive memories of their parents while suppressing their negative interactions. They have difficulty grasping the ambiguity of their status in foster care and fear rejection by their current caretakers. Entrance into the inner world of a child is a privilege that must be granted only by the child. Professionals have no right of access to the child's mind. Respect for the child's inner life requires acceptance that this is reality for the child. Judgments about the perceptions that form this inner world must be suspended in the interest of allowing the children's thoughts and feelings to be heard. Children and youth in foster care need more opportunities to play, so they can be silly, creative, and successful in mastering various physical skills. Play is most constructive when children and youth in foster care can play together. 32 references
Main Term(s): Child development; Foster homes
Index Term(s): Foster parents
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