Barbara Tantrum on Foster Parenting Refugee Children [Podcast]

When most people think of foster parenting, we think children who are experiencing neglect or abuse being removed from their parents and placed with someone else—either a foster parent or a relative caregiver.

But there is another type of foster care that many people don’t know about. 

Every day, over 40,000 families around the world are forced to flee their homes due to community violence, war, famine, natural disasters, and persecution. Unfortunately, many children become separated from their parents or primary caregivers due to death, illness, or imprisonment, and find themselves living in refugee camps, sometimes for years. 

For refugee minors, the U.S. State Department identifies children overseas who are eligible for resettlement in the U.S., but do not have a parent or a relative available and committed to providing for their long-term care. Upon arrival in the U.S., these refugee children are placed into the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) program and receive refugee foster care services and benefits.

My guest in today’s episode is Barbara Tantrum, who is a trauma and attachment therapist as well as a refugee foster parent.

Click here to listen to Episode 18: Foster Care for Refugees.

I invited Barbara on the podcast to share about this unique form of foster care and to give some insights to folks who might feel called to provide safe and loving long-term homes for children who are currently living in refugee resettlement camps overseas. If you are interested in learning more about this program, visit the U.S. Administraion for Children and Famililes web site, where you can search refugee foster care to learn more.

Barbara also has a new book coming out this fall called The Adoptive Parents’ Handbook: A Guide to Healing Trauma and Thriving with Your Foster or Adopted Child. The book will be released September 1, and you can pre-order your copy using this affiliate link or by going to 

Barbara was our guest on a recent Flourishing Foster Parent Coaching Call in which the focus was on Helping Our Kids and Ourselves Process Grief. If you are interested in downloading that audio resource, it is part of The Flourishing Foster Parent Online Resource Library available for $10/month (cancel anytime). 

I am so grateful for Barbara’s willingness to join me today, I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.

Featured Image Photo by Maria Teneva on Unsplash

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