Session 10/21

Page 1/7: Promoting relations work in practical tasks

Promoting relations work in practical tasks

Theme of the session: In session 6 (How to practice professional care) you learned how to practice relations work while you perform daily practical tasks. You also learned how to involve the children in daily tasks and interact with them while doing this. In this session we are looking at how to manage interactions and how to teach the child about limits and roles. Often, children and youth in care feel that they don’t belong anywhere. They may lack a sense of physical and emotional boundaries and lack understanding of roles and boundaries in the daily life of the foster family.Many children in care didn’t learn early in life how to act in relations, and how to follow the daily rhythm in a family. They need help to develop a sense of boundaries. What do you and do not talk about, when and where? How do you learn to respect physical and social boundaries? For example, can a child just take another child’s things without asking? Is a child aware that it must help prepare food, or do its homework? Do we talk in a loud voice or in a calm voice to each other? This is a learning process, for both the child as well as for all members of the foster family. Within the foster family’s network, the child can behave very differently in different settings (for example: many conflicts at home, no conflicts at school, or vice versa). Because of this, the child might be viewed very differently in the network of people responsible for the child (foster parents, teachers, pedagogues). There can be many disagreements on how well the child functions and how it must be met. How can foster parents work to promote agreements within the network on the needs of the child or young person?
Aims of the session:

  • To support the social development of the child in it’s daily interactions.
  • To inspire the foster family in finding new roles and ways of setting limits when a new child enters the family, so that all members feel informed and respected.
  • To create a mutual understanding of the child and it’s needs in the local network where the child lives.
Competences to be exercised:

  • To strengthen the child’s sense of having a personal and physical space as a secure base for relations in the foster family.
  • To make the children placed in care feel that they belong in the family and help them learn how to behave in the daily family life.
  • To engage all family members in finding their roles and boundaries as members of the foster family.
  • To cooperate with the foster family’s network in order to make all parties agree on a mutual understanding of the child’s needs, and how to help the child function.

A caregiver can do relational work during practical tasks by having a dialogue. For example the caregiver can talk about her/his own childhood or ask about the well-being of the child.