Blog Archives - 4KIDS
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EPIC Blog: The Impact of Trauma on the Brain

Date: June 17, 2024

l Author:Ken Lacy, EPIC Clinician

Trauma can be described as the aftermath of a deeply distressing event or circumstance that can lead to a person becoming fearful, anxious, overwhelmed, and experiencing related symptoms. When it comes to coping with challenges in daily life and processing emotions, trauma can also have negative physical impacts on the brain and body.    The […]

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EPIC Blog: The Importance of Attachment in Child Development

Date: March 7, 2024

l Author:Maria Silva, LMHC

When someone is sick and voices their need for medicine, water, or comfort, there can be two different outcomes. First, someone can hear the need and respond, bring them medicine, and sit beside them as they heal. From this response, the individual who was ill would feel seen, loved, and secure. On the other hand, […]

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EPIC Blog: How Your Trauma Affects Your Children

Date: January 4, 2024

l Author:Josiane Mendonca, MSW

Explore the impact of unaddressed trauma on adult attachment styles and relationships with children in our latest blog. Learn how acknowledging past traumas, seeking professional support, and prioritizing self-care can break the cycle of passing down emotional wounds. Celebrate victories in the healing journey for healthier relationships and emotional stability.

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EPIC Blog: Implementing Self-Care

Date: November 5, 2023

l Author:Maria Silva

Self-care can come in many forms, whether it be long-term, short-term, or immediate practices that you incorporate into your daily life. However you choose to incorporate self-care, keep in mind that the key to reaping the benefits of it is being consistent. Long-term self-care starts will goal setting.

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EPIC Blog: Ideas for Trauma-Informed Care in Schools

Date: October 5, 2023

l Author:Maria Silva

Although for several children, school can be a positive experience, for kids and teens that have been through trauma, it’s not uncommon for interactions with teachers to be challenging and for there to be various emotions surrounding exam days, the classroom environment, and many more aspects of the school setting. Nowadays, trauma even goes beyond just our students who have spent time in foster care.

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EPIC Blog: Taking Care of Your Marriage

Date: September 5, 2023

l Author:Joshua Bennett

Through phases of life, whether it be moving states, starting new jobs, or discussing finances, staying harmonious and happy with your partner takes intentional work. When you, as a couple, decide to open your home to care for children in foster care that have been through trauma, nurturing your marriage is crucial to success. So, what does that practically look like?

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EPIC Blog: Approaching Challenging Behaviors

Date: August 10, 2023

l Author:Kimberly Wood

The Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) model was developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis specifically for children who have been through hard places but can be implemented to be useful for all children! When a child is showing difficult behaviors, there are a few steps to go through in the TBRI model that include connecting, empowering, and correcting to help your child navigate the emotions and reactions that can occur in challenging behavior.

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EPIC Blog: When Children Lie

Date: July 10, 2023

l Author:Gabriela Aretis

Teaching children the importance of telling the truth and showing it through example is crucial in learning and development. Between the ages of 4 and 6, a child typically goes through a time of exploring the outcomes of lying vs. telling the truth.

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EPIC Blog: Parenting For Teens Who Have Been Parentified

Date: June 12, 2023

l Author:Joshua Bennett

What is Parentification? You may have heard of instances where children or teens must grow up and mature quickly due to their family situation or home life. When a teen is providing support, whether that be emotional, financial, or physical, to their parent or caregiver, they have been “parentified.”

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EPIC Blog: Promoting Resilience in Children

Date: May 3, 2023

l Author:Meiby Nodarse

Many people would define resilience as the ability to bounce back after being struck down, or continue to persevere down a path despite its challenges. Resilience in children can be described as the likelihood that a child will succeed even when they have faced risky, harmful and difficult situations. Being resilient takes work, and for children that have been through hard times, it takes growth and confidence through the people around them.

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EPIC Blog: When to Ask for Help with Mental Health

Date: April 1, 2023

l Author:Terri Galindo

Oftentimes, health is viewed as solely physical. If someone is not in good health, the thought immediately goes to sickness, whether it be a chronic illness, a fever, or stomach ache, but health encompasses so much more than just the physical. God created us as entire beings. Whole health includes mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical.

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EPIC Blog: Aging out of Foster Care

Date: February 27, 2023

l Author:Ken Lacy

For most teenagers, turning 18 doesn’t bring a whole lot of change. It brings the potential of challenges and the feeling of freedom, but the reality is, many are still supported and being taught by their parents along the way. For a child in foster care, turning 18 brings a significant amount of change, and even more emotions.

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EPIC Blog: The Need Behind the Behavior

Date: January 13, 2023

l Author:Pamela Souza, M.

As caregivers, it’s important to remember that there is always a need behind a behavior, and it’s your job to figure out what that need is so you can properly meet it.

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EPIC Blog: Why Take EPIC Training

Date: December 6, 2022

l Author:Betsy Godoy-Rosado, LCSW

EPIC Training is not just for parents with children in foster care, but it is applicable to anyone who has or knows someone who has experienced trauma.

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EPIC Blog: Loss of Bio Parent to Addiction

Date: November 3, 2022

l Author:Betsy Godoy-Rosado, LCSW

Some of the most difficult moments for foster and adoptive parents are when their children begin to ask questions about their biological parents. These questions become especially hard when the biological parent has been lost to addiction. Our goal is to help to equip you to comfort your foster or adoptive children if they experience the loss of their biological parent.

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EPIC Blog: The Importance of Play

Date: September 30, 2022

l Author:Meiby Nodarse, M.H.C, M.F.T

Depending on a child’s developmental age, sometimes their vocabulary is limited or they aren’t certain what it means to have feelings such as discouragement or disappointment. In order to be better understood, children can use what is available to them, which many times turns out to be play.

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EPIC Blog: Coping with the Grief of Foster Care Transitions

Date: August 8, 2022

l Author:Karen Lyttle, LCSW

As a foster parent, one of the hardest things you have to do is say goodbye to a child you have loved and cared for as your own for weeks, months, or even years.

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EPIC Blog: How To Best Love Your Foster/Adoptive Child

Date: July 7, 2022

l Author:Betsy Godoy-Rosado, LCSW

Acknowledging your attachment style and past trauma can help you better learn to love a foster or adoptive child.

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EPIC Blog: Understanding Teenagers

Date: June 13, 2022

l Author:Hailey Beard, M.A.

Three things you can do improve your relationships with teens who have experienced trauma and help them in their healing journey.

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EPIC Blog: Connection Before Correction

Date: May 16, 2022

l Author:Betsy Godoy-Rosado, LCSW

Children, just like you and I, will respond to requests better when there has been solid trust established, and when care is at the core of the request.

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EPIC Blog: Infant Mental Health

Date: April 12, 2022

l Author:Meiby Nodarse, M.H.C/M.F.T and Michele Rogan

Keeping risk and protective factors in mind when caring for an infant will help you have a better understanding in how to best prepare to support them.

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EPIC Blog: Helping Kids Work Through Challenges With Food

Date: March 14, 2022

l Author:Odelaisys Saco, LMHC, Michele Rogan, and Daniela Bolla

It is common for kids of different ages and life stages to experience challenges around meal times. Here are 3 ways to overcome the food fight!

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EPIC Blog: Setting Expectations

Date: February 7, 2022

l Author:Maria Silva, LMHC, and Michele Rogan

Knowing a child’s past, finding triggers, and examining the last 24 hours can help you set reasonable expectations for kids.

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EPIC Blog: Helping A Child Navigate Transitions

Date: January 12, 2022

l Author:Odelaisys Saco, LMHC, and Michele Rogan

In order to set a child up for a smooth transition, they need to know what’s coming in order to avoid the surprise and a potential melt-down.

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EPIC Blog: Navigating Discipline

Date: December 9, 2021

l Author:Holly Fregin, LMHC

Get practical ideas on how to discipline a child using a trauma-informed perspective.

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EPIC Blog: Seeing Foster Care From The Child’s Perspective

Date: November 11, 2021

l Author:Daniela Bolla, BSW

Consider what it’s like for a child to enter into your foster home for the first time and how to best connect with them during those initial few days.

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EPIC Blog: Building Relationship With Summer Fun

Date: July 12, 2021

l Author:Sophia Oropeza

Get some easy and affordable ideas for ways to deepen your relationship with your kids this summer!

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EPIC Blog: Partnering Well With Biological Parents

Date: June 16, 2021

l Author:Barbara Hunter

In order to truly advocate for the best interest of each child or youth in foster care, we need to activate a healthy understanding, sense of empathy, and spiritual perspective when working with their biological caregivers.

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EPIC Blog: A 4KIDS Family’s Thoughts on EPIC

Date: May 19, 2021

l Author:Daniela Bolla

Heather and Kyle were therapeuitc foster parents out-of-state who have now taken in various sibling groups through 4KIDS. In a quick interview, Heather offers thoughts on EPIC Training and how it has benefitted their family.

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EPIC Blog: 4KIDS Family Interview: The Bernatek Family

Date: May 6, 2021

l Author:Daniela Bolla

Since opening their home three years ago, Amy and James have cared for four little ones, one of which has now been adopted! In this brief interview, Amy shares insight on their fostering experience so far.

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EPIC Blog: 4KIDS Family Interview: Connecting With Teens

Date: April 8, 2021

l Author:Daniela Bolla

4KIDS Foster Parents Andrew and Cassi share their experience fostering teen brothers and offer great insight on how others can deepen their connections with teenagers.

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EPIC Blog: Helping Kids Self-Regulate

Date: March 17, 2021

l Author:Mariana Caro & Dr. Jennie Trocchio

Does your child get overwhelmed when he or she is in a place with loud sounds and bright lights? Does your child have a really hard time focusing? What about managing and regulating his or her own emotions? Learn more about helping our kids self-regulate.

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EPIC Blog: Kids & Food Insecurities

Date: February 9, 2021

l Author:Valeria Muzzetti

At some point in their lives, it is common for kids from all different types of backgrounds to form an aversion to a specific type of food, want to eat at odd hours, overeat, under eat, try to avoid eating, hoard food, and more.

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EPIC Blog: The Importance of Self-Care

Date: January 14, 2021

l Author:Betsy Godoy-Rosado

The idea of loving others is in fact dependent upon loving oneself, which we often overlook. When we push ourselves aside in the name of service to others, negative symptoms will quickly show up in every aspect of our lives, whether that’s emotionally, physically, intellectually and/or in our character.

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EPIC Blog: Navigating the Holidays and Special Events

Date: December 11, 2020

l Author:Holly Fregin

The holiday season is typically filled with excitement and joy. In the midst of all the “Christmas cheer,” however, you may see unusual behaviors or increased melt downs coming from your foster and/or adoptive children. This may be hard for you as a parent to understand and respond to, especially when you are going above and beyond to create a fun, meaningful holiday for them filled with gifts, celebrations, and happy memories.

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EPIC Blog: The Power of Gratitude

Date: November 5, 2020

l Author:Odelaisys Saco

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, every family can benefit from the power of practicing gratitude together.

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EPIC Blog: Book Recommendations to Keep the Conversation on Race Going

Date: October 26, 2020

l Author:Daniela Bolla

TeachingBooks’ recently created an exhaustive list of children’s literature pieces that can support parents and caregivers who want to have conversations surrounding “race, racism, and resistance” with their kids. Based on this site’s recommendations, we picked out just a few that we think would be great additions to your bookshelves.

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EPIC Blog: Insight for Inter-Racial Families

Date: October 16, 2020

l Author:Mariana Caro & Daniela Bolla

One of the things that is often missed, specifically within inter-racial adoption, is the importance of open and honest conversations around race. We know that acknowledging racial differences can feel uncomfortable, but it is critically necessary to acknowledge the realities of your new family.

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EPIC Blog: Saying Yes

Date: September 14, 2020

l Author:Holly Fregin

As parents and caregivers, more often than not we have the tendency to say “no” to our child’s requests. When we find creative ways to say “yes,” however, we deepen our connection and build trust with our kids.

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EPIC Blog: Setting Limits

Date: August 14, 2020

l Author:Mariana Caro

As caregivers, it is our job to set limits in order to keep kids safe. Oftentimes, the way we set these limits, however, can lead to meltdowns and tension in our relationship with our kids. Instead of simply saying “no” to their requests, which can feel dismissive and sometimes even aggressive, try following Dr. Garry Landreth’s breakdown for limit setting.

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EPIC Blog: Celebrating Uniqueness

Date: July 24, 2020

l Author:Terri Galindo

To continue the discussion on the subject of racism with children and youth, we need to address the uniqueness of each individual and group, as well as the things that unify us. We must also think about the child or children with who we are having the discussion. There are a few topics to consider when we are discussing race: God’s love for us, we are all sinners, that history influences all, there is beauty and dignity in all.

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EPIC Blog: How to Talk to Kids About Race

Date: July 17, 2020

l Author:Terri Galindo

As parents, there are so many important conversations that we must have with children. We often call them, “The Talks.” They could be about faith, race, sex, or career choice. It is important that we prepare ourselves through prayer, wisdom, and our own or other’s experiences. We want to take children on a journey that will end with acceptance, peace, and reconciliation. In order to do that, we have to take ourselves on that journey, as well.

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EPIC Blog: Self-Care for Parents

Date: July 9, 2020

l Author:Terri Galindo

Parents! In order to pour out to our families, it is so important that we are filled first. When we are on an airplane, we are always advised to put our masks on first, and then help loved ones. The same thing goes for parenting.

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EPIC Blog: How to Know if Therapy is Right for You

Date: July 7, 2020

l Author:Betsy Godoy-Rosado

Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be “crazy” to benefit from therapy. Though therapy is not necessary for every struggle you face (especially if you have a strong support system), many people can benefit from seeing a clinical therapist at some point in their lives. Sometimes, the signs for concern are obvious. Other times, however, you may feel slightly off and unable to figure out why.

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EPIC Blog: Mental Health & Kids

Date: July 2, 2020

l Author:Terri Galindo

When we think of health, we often only think of the physical health of our bodies. Mental health, however, is something that cannot afford to be overlooked— especially when it comes to our kids. We all know what to look for when aiming to have a healthy body, but what does it mean to be healthy mentally and emotionally? And how does this relate to spiritual health?

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EPIC Blog: How to Use Engine Plates

Date: June 19, 2020

l Author:Holly Fregin

As a parent, you may find yourself constantly overwhelmed by your child’s big emotions and meltdowns. One of the first steps in really being able to change this behavior is to help kids know what is really happening in their bodies when the tantrums arise. The “engine plate” is a great tool to teach this!

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EPIC Blog: How to De-escalate Meltdowns

Date: June 5, 2020

l Author:Mariana Caro

One of the most common questions that I receive from families is “How do we stop the meltdowns? How do we deescalate a chaotic situation?” In order to answer that, we first have to understand what’s happening in the brain during a meltdown.

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EPIC Blog: How to Use Proactive Strategies

Date: May 22, 2020

l Author:Linda Lukasik

One of the hardest things parents have to handle is their child’s meltdowns, which are really big emotions. The most important things to do during these times is to find ways to decrease the frequency, intensity, and duration of these meltdowns is with a proactive strategy.

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EPIC Blog: Learn More About Fostering

Date: May 15, 2020

l Author:Daniela Bolla

Interested in learning more about different aspects of fostering? Here are a couple books and podcast recommendations made by some of our 4KIDS families for those looking to widen their understanding!

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EPIC Blog: Interrupting Trauma with Positive Experiences

Date: May 1, 2020

l Author:Mariana Caro

We can interrupt trauma by engaging in positive childhood experiences, by connecting with them, by being able to remain present when our impulse may be to take their pain away. They are already experiencing the pain and the trauma; the question is, are they experiencing it alone or with you?

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EPIC Blog: Working with Children in Times of Uncertainty

Date: April 25, 2020

l Author:Mariana Caro

Times of uncertainty are stressful. They can be scary, they can be sad, and even overwhelming. Children look to adults to know how to process in these times. When we help kids sit in the uncertainty and acknowledge their feelings in the midst, this helps increase their resiliency.

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EPIC Blog: How to Approach Academics

Date: April 17, 2020

l Author:Mariana Caro

We all want our kids to be successful. Academics are part of that, but they are not everything. While challenging our kids to do their best, to push forward, to be successful is so important for their well-being, it cannot come at the cost of relationship, especially in times of stress and uncertainty.

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EPIC Blog: How to Parent with Presence

Date: April 8, 2020

l Author:Mariana Caro

The most precious gift that we can give our children is our presence. In the midst of the busyness of life, finding time for connection can seem impossible.

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EPIC Blog: Parenting in High Stress Situations

Date: April 3, 2020

l Author:Mariana Caro

Parenting under normal circumstances is difficult. It is probably the hardest thing that you will do. Then you add a high stress situation, like a family or health crisis, loss of a loved one, a scary situation at school or at work, or a natural disaster, and then parenting can feel like a day-by-day battle.

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EPIC Blog: Truth and Light: Speaking to Kids about Traumatic Situations

Date: April 2, 2020

l Author:Terri Galindo

We need to be frank with our kids. They already know something is wrong, we might as well come out with it. But how do we do that?

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EPIC Blog: Ask For Help

Date: March 31, 2020

l Author:Terri Galindo & Odelaisys Soca

  Two are better than one! In difficult times it is important to not isolate and to reach out for support, direction and encouragement. A list of resources is a good start! Include at least 2 people that you can call in the event of an emergency or for support. It can be family, friends, […]

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Epic Blog: Triggers

Date: March 31, 2020

Date: March 31,2020 l Author: Terri Galindo, LCSW, LMFT & Ariana Vizzotto, LCSW  A trigger is a reminder of a past trauma. An example of trauma could be physical, mental, or sexual abuse, a rejection, neglect, abandonment, or a natural disaster the person experienced, amongst some other pain and suffering. A trigger causes someone to […]

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EPIC Blog: Connecting with Their Feelings

Date: March 31, 2020

l Author:Terri Galindo & Mariana Caro

During times of crisis, it can be hard for children who have experienced trauma to process and express their emotions. Learn how you can connect with their feelings.

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EPIC Blog: Routines

Date: March 31, 2020

l Author:Terri Galindo & Roque Marino

Routines are essential as they give adults and kids a sense of normalcy. It is normal to fear the unknown. Learn how you can create healthy routines for you and your family.

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EPIC Blog: Setting the Tone

Date: March 31, 2020

l Author:Terri Galindo & Barbara Hunter

Take care of yourself first: It’s so important to make sure you take good care of your body, mind, and soul every day, not just when you get sick. Learn other tools and ways to set the tone for you and your family during this time.

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