Music therapy for children in foster care – how does it work? A short guide
Therapeutic care, such as music therapy, can help facilitate recovery from the impacts of physical, psychological and emotional trauma resulting from experiences of harm or risk of harm, often experienced by children in foster care. Most children in the foster care system have experienced some form of trauma. It is very important for them to have outlets, such as music, through which they can express their feelings.
Music therapy is the use of music to address the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of a group or individual. It employs a variety of activities, such as listening to melodies, playing an instrument, drumming, writing songs, and guided imagery. Music therapy aides in the development of physical, sensory and cognitive skills i.e. listening, use of gross and fine motor movements, sequential memory and recall of information and self-management of behaviours. Through music and associated skill development, an increase in self-confidence, self-esteem, personal insight and motivation can occur. Children and young people have experienced increased independence and confidence around decision making. It has proven to reduce tension, anxiety and stress.
Music is something that affects everyone emotionally and it is proven to help attachment and relationships issues. It can help foster children express their emotions, which can lead to attachment and bonding between family members or between a child and a therapist.
The Wishing Well foundation
The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.
The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.
The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.
The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.
Support the Wishing Well
The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW. Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis. The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:
- Funding availability
- The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
- The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
- Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person
The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information: