When fostering in the Midlands, you will face challenges when it comes to the backgrounds and experiences your foster children have faced. Foster children come from all walks of life and when your fostering in the Midlands, sometimes you can see trauma bonding develop when children have been sexually exploited or abused.
Foster children come from different places and different experiences and we work with foster children and foster families across the Midlands, including Nottingham, Leicester, Derby, Loughborough and Kettering. However different these places are, the goal stays the same – protecting foster children and giving them safe and secure homes.
In this article, we’re going to discuss what trauma bond is and how you can receive help and advice as foster parents when fostering in the Midlands if this is something your foster children are facing.
What is trauma bond?
Trauma bond is a negative effect of child sexual exploitation or abuse. It is a connection that is formed between a victim and their abuser/s, often developed over long-term abuse relationships. It occurs when victims develop a sense of loyalty and love towards their abuser which can often be mistaken for affection. There is no age limit to when this can occur but it can be assumed that children and young adults are perhaps at a higher risk. When fostering in the Midlands, it will be evident that younger children and young adults require more attention and are more dependable from an early age – therefore, allowing an abuser to take advantage, both physically and emotionally. If children are not accustomed to physical intimacy, grooming tactics can quickly be mistaken for genuine feelings and accepted behaviour.
Understanding trauma bond when fostering in the Midlands
Trauma bond occurs for several different reasons and if you’re fostering in the Midlands and have a foster child who is suffering with this, it’s good to be able to pick up on triggers and try and understand which behaviours occurred to form this bond.
Below are some circumstances that can lead to trauma bonding:
- Small acts of kindness like making promises or gifts
- The threat of physical violence or danger from one party, which the victim believes their abuser can protect them from.
- Being isolated from friends and family
- The idea that there is no escape from their abuse/abuser
The issue that many children and young adults face is that the fear of the consequences overwhelms their desire to escape. They’re pretty much surviving rather than trying to leave and get caught. This therefore allows abusive behaviour to become normal.
Fostering in the midlands and trauma bond signs
There are negative effects that trauma bonding can bring and sometimes, they can often result in long-term repercussions that foster children may not be able to overcome. As a foster carer fostering in the Midlands, there are some common signs to look out for:
- An unwillingness to accept help and support
- Distancing themselves from family and friends
- Negative behaviour changes and sudden changes in personality
- A sudden change in social circles
- Returning home with new gifts and expensive clothes or items.
- A willingness to stick up for their abuser
When they enter your care, of course they are safe when they are with you but it’s always good to be aware of the signs for when they’re not with you. Some victims grow older and try to re-connect with their abuser. This is because of routine and what feels natural to them. When fostering in the Midlands and working alongside Fostering Dimensions, you are supported and helped with this.
How fostering in the Midlands can help
With these circumstances, there is no one solution when fostering in the Midlands. Helping a young person overcome such experiences can be difficult. Each individual is different and each case should be treated differently too. Being able to build trust with your foster children is the first thing to work on. In many instances, foster children do not believe anyone cares for them in the way their abusers do. Naturally, it will take a lot of time for your foster children to really trust you.
This can create a challenge at home after the abuse has been exposed, but there are things you can do to help your foster child overcome a trauma bond more quickly.
- Children need to be distanced from their abuser for a long period of time. This may need constant monitoring when it comes to thing like their phones and social media
- You, as the child’s carer, need to be a consistent presence in their life. Show them the right kind of affection and care.
- Show that you trust them to make their own decisions, whilst still monitoring them in the right way without being too over bearing.
As a foster parent, it’s important to remember you’re not alone and fostering in the Midlands with Fostering dimensions is a testament to this. With the right training, support and development, we will be by your side.