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Helping Your Foster Child Manage Their Grief

Black White Child Grief 2

All children in foster care have experienced loss, whether that be through bereavement or the loss of their familiar home surroundings or people. When caring for a child, it’s important to support them with any problems they may face. You must recognise that grief plays a huge part in their lives and provide them with the help they need.

The Olive Branch team are always here for our foster families, but here are a few ways foster carers can offer support if the child in their care is experiencing grief.

Create a safe and open environment

Often, just listening to a child and letting them know that you’re there for them can be a huge help. Encourage open communication and validate your foster child’s emotions by letting them know it’s okay to feel sad, angry or confused about their past experiences. Show interest in their lives, including their hobbies, to create a trusted space for conversations. Remember, small chats can lead to bigger conversations.

Educate yourself on grief and trauma

Showing some understanding of the unique challenges that your foster child may be facing is essential. If you’re able to comprehend their emotional struggles, it’ll be easier for you to provide them with the support they need.

Promote Stability

Establish routines, as predictability can provide a sense of security which will help your foster child feel more in control of their life. Many foster children have experienced instability, so a sense of routine will make the young person feel comfortable. It will also increase trust between you, which aids in building a good environment for their emotional healing.

Establish a good support network

When someone is grieving, they need to know that they’re not alone and there’s always someone for them to talk to. Your Olive Branch family is always just a phone call away and your foster child’s child social care advocate is available to help them with any issues they may be facing.

Supporting your foster child through grief requires patience, understanding, and dedication. By creating a safe and nurturing environment, building trust and stability, and making them aware of their support network, we can empower them to navigate their grief and build a foundation for a much brighter future.

If you’re struggling with supporting your foster child with their grief, then don’t worry. You are not alone. Get in touch with your social worker or any of the Olive Branch team for some extra support.

There are also some excellent guides and resources from the Good Grief Trust, you can visit their website here:


Fostering insights


  • Parent and Child
  • Support
  • Young person
  • Advice
  • Social Worker

Date published

06 December 2023

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