Journey of Hearts: How To Resolve Conflicts Peacefully in Foster Care

Join Erin, a foster carer with Origins Foster Care, as she shares her effective strategies for teaching children in care how to resolve conflicts peacefully.

In our ongoing "Journey of Hearts" series, we explore the transformative experiences of foster carers and the children they support. Today, we’re focusing on how Erin, a dedicated carer with Origins Foster Care, guides siblings in care towards peaceful conflict resolution, helping them move away from physical confrontations to constructive communication.

Conflict Resolution in Practice

Erin has witnessed firsthand the challenges that can arise when children in care handle conflicts through physical means. She emphasises the importance of interjecting swiftly and modelling non-physical methods of conflict resolution.

"In the beginning, their way of resolving conflict was very physical and got quite out of control at times," Erin recalls, but by demonstrating calm and controlled responses to frustration within her own interactions, Erin was able to showcase a more useful and healthy means of conflict resolution for the children to emulate.

Whenever there's maybe a disagreement between me and my partner or anything, you know, that they're seeing that there's not screaming and shouting and slamming doors. And if we don't get to do that, then you don't get to do that either.

Building a New Normal

Under Erin and her partner’s guidance, the siblings have learned to take time apart to cool down, using their own rooms as spaces to reflect and regroup. Over time, this approach has led to a complete step change in approach to resolving conflict, and now the siblings in her care no longer have physical altercations leading to a more peaceful and laid back living environment.

That’s not, however, to say that conflicts have completely disappeared. As in all walks of life, conflict can arise from time to time. What’s changed now though is that the children are able to handle them in a more peaceful way.

"They still bite at each other a bit and give each other some stick, but I don't think there's been any physical ways of dealing with frustrations between each other now for well over a year," Erin proudly shares.

Erin's commitment to consistency and modelling positive behaviour plays a crucial role in teaching children in care more functional ways of handling life's challenges. Her story is a testament to the positive impact that dedicated care and thoughtful conflict management can have on the lives of children in care.

Are you inspired by Erin's story and interested in making a meaningful impact in the lives of children in care? Learn a little bit more about becoming a foster carer with Origins, check out our in-depth guide to fostering in Ireland, get in touch to get personalised guidance and support from one of our fostering experts, or apply to become a foster carer today! Your journey into fostering and changing a child's life could begin now.

A portrait photo of Eithne Larkin, a team member at Origins Foster Care smiling and looking at the camera.
Written by:
Eithne LarkinEithne Larkin
April 11, 2024
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