Life in the red zone

Let's not sugarcoat it, being a foster carer can be tough and about 3 months into our first full-time placement (more details about how this all came about in Suddenly full-time carers) we were faced with some truly challenging situations to deal with. In the therapeutic parenting arousal graph when a child enters the red zone it is defined as an extremely heightened state of intense alertness and emotion, often reacting through instinct (flight/fright/freeze response) and neglecting rational thought. We had seen plenty of anger outbursts up until this point but the first extended severe red zone episode was a little terrifying. "the red zone it is defined as an extremely heightened state of intense alertness and emotion, often reacting … [Read more...]

Adjusting to new anxieties

Children in out of home care have faced trauma to some degree and this is often expressed through anxiety which itself can be manifest in a variety of behaviours. This post is describing our experience dealing with new anxieties we faced with a group of three siblings during our first emergency placement which you can read about here (I'd recommend reading that first as it might help to provide some further context to the overall situation which I won't cover here). We had already dealt with a variety of anxious behaviours through experience with different respite placements, but taking on an emergency placement with practically zero information about potential anxieties was a whole different level. There was no transition to speak of since … [Read more...]