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Encouraging foster children to take responsibility.

Children in care can often feel that they have a very limited say in the decisions that affect their lives. The frustration this causes can lead to negative behaviour. Having relinquished responsibility of their future they no longer feel accountable for the outcomes of any negative behaviour. Children in care need to benefit from taking responsibility for their actions to be explained to them. Some of the benefits of increased responsibility are:

•Empowerment. Taking responsibility empowers young people. They can decide what they want to do with their future, and anything seems possible. Achieving goals, they have set for themselves can lead to improved self-esteem. Although they may be working towards their goals alongside others, the positive outcomes belong to them, and success builds more success.

•Liberation. Responsibility liberates young people from the constraints of their situation. Often children in care can feel like their identity is defined by their situation. Once children in care take responsibility they no longer feel confined by the care system.

•Development. Through taking more responsibility, a young person grows as a person. They can learn from their mistakes and can use past experiences to make better decisions in the future. Each decision they make is character building.

•Contentment. Taking responsibility for their actions gives a young people the contentment and satisfaction of knowing that they tried their best. Even if the outcome is negative, knowing that they were in control and that they could not have done anymore develops a peace of mind.