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How To Maintain Self Care When You Become a Foster Carer

Deciding to become a foster carer is life-changing, not just for you as a foster carer, but also for the children that you will be looking after. Foster caring is a role filled with compassion, challenges, and immense rewards. At Family Fostering Partners, to enable our foster parents to be at their best, we encourage them to prioritise their own self care and well-being. In this blog post, we'll explore practical strategies on how to maintain self-care while navigating the responsibilities of foster caring, as well as the support Family Fostering Partners provides to their foster parents.


Foster Caring and the Importance of Self-Care

Foster caring is a role that requires emotional resilience, patience, and dedication. While the focus remains on the well-being of the children in our collective care, it is important that anyone who decides to become a foster carer makes time for themselves and make self care a priority to avoid compassion fatigue.

Self-care is not selfish; it's a vital aspect of foster caring that enables you to sustain your ability to provide excellent care. By prioritising your physical, emotional, and mental health, you can better support the children in your care and create a positive impact on their lives.


Tips for Maintaining Self-Care when you Become a Foster Carer

Establish Boundaries: Set boundaries to maintain a healthy balance between your personal life and your role as a foster carer. Allocate time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation; whether it's pursuing hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or simply having quiet moments alone.

Agency Support: At Family Fostering Partners, you can expect support throughout your foster caring journey. When you decide to become a foster carer, you will be allocated your own assessing social worker. Once you have become an approved foster carer, you will have an allocated link worker who will visit you regularly throughout your foster caring career. You can also expect access to closed Facebook groups, regular days out and activities, and dedicated ‘Support Groups’ led by the Family Fostering Partners Team.

Peer Support: Reach out to those in your support network, including fellow foster carers, friends and family. Be sure to also engage with the support groups provided by Family Fostering Partners. Swapping experiences and seeking advice can offer valuable reassurance and perspective. Our closed Facebook groups are a platform to share ideas and celebrate one another's successes!

External Support: When you become a foster carer with Family Fostering Partners, you will have access to Foster Talk. Foster Talk provide 24/7 legal advice, medical advice and counselling services, discounts, workshops and more! Click here to learn more about the membership.

Prioritise Your Health: Make your physical health a priority by adopting a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and getting adequate rest. Foster caring can be physically demanding at times, and maintaining good health is essential for sustaining your energy and resilience.

Practice Self-Compassion: Show yourself the same kindness and understanding that you extend to others. Foster caring involves navigating complex emotions and situations, and it's okay to acknowledge your own limitations. Treat yourself with compassion and grace during challenging times, and lean on your Link Worker for support.

How To Maintain Self Care When You Become a Foster Carer

Cultivate Mindfulness: Incorporate mindfulness practices into your daily routine to promote self-awareness and stress management. Whether it's through meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply being present in the moment, mindfulness can help you stay grounded and centred. The FFP Team recently enjoyed a mindfulness session led by our Deputy Fostering Manager, Leanne (pictured).

Stay Educated: Stay informed about best practices, trauma-informed care, and resources available to support both you and the children in your care by attending our regular training. Training is as crucial to those looking to become a foster carer as it is to those already far into their foster caring journey! Knowledge empowers you to navigate challenges with confidence and competence. Click here to learn more about the training we provide.

Communicate Openly: Maintain open and honest communication throughout your foster caring journey; be sure to use your Link Worker to express any needs, worries or concerns that you may have. Effective communication will benefit both you and the children in your care.

Celebrate Small Victories: Acknowledge and celebrate your fostering family’s milestones and achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Foster caring is a journey of progress and growth, and every positive impact you make on a child's life is worth celebrating. Recognise your contributions and the difference you're making in the lives of vulnerable children.


Conclusion on Foster Caring and Self Care

Becoming a foster carer is a profound commitment that requires compassion, dedication, and self-awareness. By prioritising your own self-care, you not only safeguard your well-being but also enhance your capacity to provide nurturing and stable environments for the children in your care. Remember, fostering is a journey of growth and transformation, and taking care of yourself is essential for sustaining your ability to make a positive impact. With the right balance of self-care practices and support, you can thrive as a foster carer and create lasting change in the lives of vulnerable children.


Begin Your Journey and Become a Foster Carer

If you’re interested in learning more about a career in foster caring, we’re always at hand to speak with anyone who’s considering becoming a foster parent. You can get in touch with us by visiting our “Contact Us” page, by speaking to a member of our team through our fostering live chat, or by calling us directly on 0330 0948816.

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