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2000 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 2, No. 4
July 1997

Support at the End of Placement

What can you do to help foster parents deal with the feelings of loss that come at the end of a placement? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Be direct and honest about the duration of placement; share updated and relevant information with foster parents on an ongoing basis.

  2. Learn about the stages of grief. Coping with foster parent anger (or despair) may be easier if you see it as a natural part of the grieving process.

  3. Send a condolence note after the placement ends. Make a follow-up phone call to express your appreciation and concern.

  4. If resources are available, your agency may be able to assign a social worker to each foster home. This worker could be a stable presence for the foster parent to turn to at the end of a placement.

  5. Increase foster parent training related to separation and loss. This will help them understand their own reactions to loss, as well as the reactions of their foster children.

  6. Foster parent associations and self-help groups can provide another avenue for the foster parents to get support during times of separation.


Edelstein, S. (1981). When foster children leave: Helping foster parents to grieve. Child Welfare, 60(7), 467-473.

Evans, B. (1997). Thoughts on foster parent grief. Fostering Perspectives, 1(2), p. 5.

1997 Jordan Institute for Families