Fostering Care, Fostering Connection: New Relational Possibilities for Child Welfare

Year Published: 2008

Publication Type: Work in Progress

SKU: 106

Authors: Linda Hartling, Ph. D. and Aleta Richards, Ph. D.

Children in child welfare programs are familiar with change. As soon as they settle into a foster family, they often need to pack their bags and move to a different family. These children do not experience the durable, enduring relationships needed for healthy development. Traditional psychodynamic theories of human development focus on the development of the self, indicating that successful development brings independence, self-sufficiency, and autonomy. We suggest that it is time to question the individualistic theories of human development and the programs that grow out of these theories. Integrating the principles of RCT, we propose six priorities for changing the child welfare system. We hope these six ideas will inspire many conversations about the possibilities open to us when we place relational development, not individual development, at the center of our child welfare programs.

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