When young Milani came to Ms. Caduff’s home she didn’t have any routine and was fearful of almost everything. She wasn’t used to taking baths, sleeping in a bed, or having her hair combed. Prior to arriving to Ms. Caduff’s home, Milani’s hair was not unbraided, washed, nor combed in nearly a year. Ms. Caduff and a friend sat on the floor and worked for hours to carefully undo each braid and detangle Milani’s hair. Milani sat still, ate her favorite snack, and watched the “Bubble Guppies” tv show while the two adults worked. By the end of the day, Milani’s hair was taken down, washed, combed, conditioned, and fixed neatly into a new style. Milani was so proud to show her Monroe Harding Resource Specialist her new hairdo. Right after doing so, she went right back to what she loves most, playing!

When foster parents open their hearts and homes, and foster children and teens, they learn about different cultures, ways of living, and in cases like with young Milani, different types of hair. Taking advantage of these opportunities can strengthen the bond between the parents and the child. Building healthy and trusting relationships is part of the healing process for our young people. Training our families to provide this type of trauma informed care and healing is at the core of the training process for our new parents.