Note: This excerpt is the introduction to Especially forParents: A Handbook for Parents and Families of Children in Placement at White's Residential & Family Services.
Raising teenagers today is a tough job! Being the parents of teenagers has always been difficult, but the pressures being placed on families today have made this task even greater. Add to this the stress of having a child in placement outside the home, and you have a situation that is especially difficult.
Most of the parents of children placed at White’s have a variety of feelings about this placement. Many parents may experience feelings of guilt or failure, and they may ask themselves questions such as, “Was it my fault?” or, “What did I do wrong?” Some parents may experience worry or fear and may wonder what is going to happen to their child in placement. Others may feel angry or powerless in this situation. And still other parents may experience feelings of relief, especially if there has been a long period of struggle with their child. These parents may also feel guilty about feeling relieved. Most parents experience a variety of these or other emotions. We want you to know that we are aware of these feelings.
To some extent, perhaps, we can understand and relate to the feelings you are experiencing. Many of the staff at White’s who will be working with your child are also parents themselves. Although well qualified, none of our staff are perfect parents. Since none have raised perfect children themselves, the staff is able to understand the emotions of parents who have had difficulty with their children.
We realize that most children at White’s are members of families who love and care for them and who are concerned about their safety and well being. Our program has been developed to care for the children at White’s in the same spirit we would want our own children cared for.
Especially For Parents is designed to answer your questions and hopefully help put your mind at ease while your child is in placement at White’s.