The research presented here has several implications for service providers. Our first aims are always to support the safety and self-determination of child sexual abuse survivors in foster care and their foster and adoptive parents. Since many of our interactions are likely to be with the parents, it is important that we explain the dynamics and effects of sexual abuse and situate problematic behavior as a normal response to trauma.
Service providers can explain the importance of safety, empathy, patience, and consistency when caring for a child who has been sexually abused.
It is imperative that we recognize the foster and adoptive family as the locus of healing; our sporadic (and even 50 minutes a week) interactions are valuable times to listen and share information and tools, but ultimately foster and adoptive families are the foundation of the strong support system needed for safety and healing.