Foster carers have one of the most amazing roles to play in their communities. They are opening their home up to a child who needs a safe space and using their amazing compassion to look after them too.

    Yet, like anyone in a caring position, it is important to focus on well-being as well and this guide looks at how foster carers can look after themselves in the mix.

    Ask for Support When You Need It

    Ask for Support When You Need It
    Source: LDS Living

    Just like in any professional environment, there will be times when you need extra support. This is when you need to get in touch with your agency and ask for it. Private companies like thefca.co.uk are extremely supportive and will always give carers what they need. However, communication is important, and they won’t know you need help if you don’t speak up.

    Stay on Top of the Admin

    Foster carers must complete certain logs and stay in touch with their wider team. This is a standard requirement, and it is in your best interests to stay on top of the admin side of the role. Falling behind will cause unnecessary stress and may create a ripple effect on your mental health as well.

    Don’t Split Your Focus Too Much

    This role is a full-time commitment, and you should treat it as such. It is okay to have a job at the same time as looking after children but try to avoid stretching your time too thinly. This will make you feel tired and split your attention away from what’s really important.

    Make Time for Friends and Family

    Make Time for Friends and Family
    Source: Conscious Living TV

    It can feel difficult to keep in touch with your friends when you are looking after any children, but it is important to do so. Create space for yourself by booking in friend dates and visiting family. Make sure this happens at least once a month and use the support network around you too. If this means booking in respite care, go for it! That’s what it’s there for, after all.

    Accept That Some Days Are Better Than Others

    There are always going to be moments that you enjoy more than others. Foster caring means taking the good with the bad and weighing it all up to strike a balance. You can find peace in the positive moments and use that strength to see the harder days through as well. Every moment you spend looking after a child is a great thing to do, and you are giving a much-needed line of support each time you show up and get on with things. There is always a way forward, and while it is your job to find it, the support networks are amazing resources to have in your pocket to help things along in the right direction.

    Ultimately, if you don’t look after yourself while taking care of the needs of others, you won’t be able to show up every day. This is an important part of being a foster carer, and something that should be high up on the list of priorities.

    Read Next: 5 Reasons to Foster in Later Life

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