Learning To Trust While In Foster Care In China

January 18, 2010 | Print | Email Email | Comments | Category: China NGO Viewpoints

Working in a charity or non-governmental organization in China has both great rewards and challenges. Here we listen to the voices of those people making China a better place.

This section is edited by our volunteer Kay Zhang, the PR/Communications Manager of Care for Children in China. She previously worked for BDL Media in Beijing for about three years before she obtained her master's degree in marketing from London Metropolitan University. To contribute your own viewpoint on working for an NGO in China, please email to [email protected]

Cuibin Zhang is a graduate from the School of Social Work and Psychosocial Sciences at the University of East Anglia, and she holds an MA degree in International Child Welfare. Currently she work as a trainer in the charity Care for Children delivering training on foster care.

This is one of the case studies that she collected during one of her research and evaluation trips to the project orphanages. She then applies these case studies to her seminar and, in this way, she keeps her training work updated and practical.

Case Study — Hua Hua
Xiao Hua, an eight-year-old boy who suffers from cerebral palsy, has been living with his long-term foster family for seven years. He was abandoned by his birth parents at the age of two year and came into institutional care. One year later he was placed into foster placement. When he first came to the foster family, he was rather wary and withdrawn. He seldom smiled, cried, or played. He was defensive and angry with everybody. He was deeply distrustful. The foster mother recognized that earlier adversity would underpin some of the boy's behavior and that she would need to work purposefully towards restoring his trust in adult caregivers.

On one occasion when the foster mother took him back to the institution to celebrate Children's Day, Hua Hua became very anxious at seeing the familiar environment that he used to live in. He abruptly grabbed his foster mother's hand tightly. In return she held his hand and reassured him that she would be there with him and would take him home immediately after the celebration. When he got back home, he was relieved and felt totally safe and secure. Hua Hua started to trust people again and formed a very close and loving relationship with his foster mother.

He felt a deep sense of belonging in his foster family; as could be seen when we asked him to draw a picture to describe his current life. In his drawing he drew a house with the foster mother and father holding his hands, and around the house were green trees. He said that spring had come.

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