“Kids in foster care can feel disconnected from other kids their age because of what they’re going through, so it’s important to help them feel as normal as possible,” said Suzanne Hughes, executive director at CASA for Children. “Getting the chance to participate in normal childhood activities and just be a kid can be essential to a child’s well-being.”
“Normalcy” is a term commonly used in child welfare for any experiences that contribute to a child’s autonomy and social functioning. Activities associated with a “normal” childhood, such as sleepovers, pool parties, having an ice cream cone or going to a dance can be imperative to a child’s sense of security, regularity, and well-being. Another aspect of normalcy is working to ensure that the realities and difficulties of a child’s situation interrupt their everyday lives as little as possible.
“Friendship and socialization are imperative for children to maintain good health and psychological well-being. While things like visitation, appointments, and therapy are essential for the children we serve, we don’t want them to come in the way of everyday activities that are also important to their development, like school or an extracurricular activity,” Hughes said.
Foster parents, CASA advocates, caseworkers and others who serve children in care must …