Relationships and Belonging

Dear Reader,

As the Acting President of KidsPeace, I thank our regular readers for their loyalty and welcome new readers to our award-winning Healing Magazine®. We take great pride in this publication, as we do in the services we provide to children from across the country who utilize our services every day. KidsPeace is now 126 years old and has been providing hope, help and healing to kids in crisis since the beginning, when we cared for the children of smallpox victims in 1882.

Spring and summer are typically months of recreation and happy times and fun activities for most of our nation’s children, but, too often, they are times of trauma and crisis for kids with unhappy home lives and mental health issues. At KidsPeace, we strive to help children through the difficult times and provide them with stability, safety, treatment and the knowledge that they are important and loved by caring adults.

This issue of Healing focuses on a subject that becomes more important to the children in this country every day: Foster Care. Whether a child is in foster care for a day, a month, a year or until he or she reaches adulthood, the time spent with a foster family leaves an indelible impression on a child and often gives him or her the opportunity to heal and become strong enough to face the world with a new outlook. With more than 35 foster care offices across the country, KidsPeace is indeed an expert on all aspects of foster care, from respite care for a weekend to adoption by a loving foster family. The articles in the Special Focus section of this issue examine different aspects of foster care, from the foster parent who discusses “letting go” of a beloved child to the state foster care manager who explains the careful matching process KidsPeace employs to ensure that each child is placed with a family that meets his or her particular needs. Also we hear from a mother who has adopted 3 children, been a foster parent and worked as a family resource specialist in a foster care office. There is an overview of the system as told by an expert who has worked in foster care for more than 30 years and an article by a psychologist who treats foster children with emotional and psychological issues.

This issue of Healing also examines the benefits of therapeutic gardening and includes an article on disruptive behavior disorders. Linda Goldman, renowned for her work with children’s grief counseling, provides a short excerpt from her new book on nurturing and accepting youth who come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, and frequent contributor Ellen Notbohm gives us another glimpse into parenting children with autism.

We hope you will find this issue informative and that you will share it with friends and colleagues. We wish you a wonderful spring and summer, and we wish the children within your realm of influence laughter, lightheartedness and joy.

Bringing kids peace,
Lorrie Henderson, Ph.D.

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