Experiences of Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivors and Foster Care



Date of Publication
November, 2008

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.

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