April is stress awareness month and it’s more a great opportunity to raise awareness about stress and it impact on mental health, particularly for looked after children and foster carers.
Stress is a normal part of life, but it can become overwhelming and harmful when it's not managed properly.
Looked after children are more likely to experience mental health problems and have higher levels of stress than children who live with their birth families. They may have experienced trauma, abuse and neglect, which can affect their mental and emotional wellbeing.
It's essential to acknowledge the impact of stress on the wellbeing of looked after children and foster carers and provide them with support and resources to manage their stress effectively. Here are some strategies that can help:
Foster carers need to take care of their own physical and mental health to be able to provide the best care for children. This can include getting enough rest, eating well, seeking support from family and friends and their own supporting social worker. Here at Fostering Rotherham, we also have a 24/7 support line for our foster carers if they need it.
Encourage Open Communication
Foster carers and looked after children should feel comfortable sharing their feelings and concerns with each other. This can help to build trust and improve relationships, reducing stress for both parties.
Connect With Other Carers
We offer a lot of support for our foster carers. We have 3 Mockingbird Hubs across Rotherham where our foster carers and looked after children can meet up together. The Mockingbird Hubs provide a safe place for looked after children for planned and emergency sleepovers, as well as support and advice on anything related to fostering.
Share Your Coping Mechanisms
If something has worked for you, share it! It could benefit someone you care about and, in the meantime, it may help you take your mind off your own challenges.
Stress can be overwhelming, but with the right strategies and support, looked after children and foster carers can manage their stress and improve their mental health. Let's use Stress Awareness Month as an opportunity to raise awareness and promote wellbeing.
Our Support Services
You can access support through our Therapeutic Team, who work to strengthen the stability of home matches and support the emotional wellbeing of young people. You can also access advice and support if you have any concerns about a child’s mental health and wellbeing.
You can also access 24 hour support via our social worker teams during office hours and via our emergency service for out of hours support.
If this has inspired you to consider fostering and you would like to provide a supportive and caring home environment for a looked after child, then do get in touch today.
Learn more about fostering in Rotherham
If you have any questions about fostering in Rotherham, book a call back with a member of our experienced team at a time that suits you. All our call backs are confidential.