We want to raise as much of an alert for all our foster carers about stress awareness. We understand that being a foster carer can sometimes be stressful. In any ones day to day life they can come into contact with different stressful situations. There are many different elements which can cause stress for a foster carer; having to manage relationships, finances, the responsibility of caring for a child or young person, dealing and meeting complex and difficult needs of a child or young person. There are various reasons why a foster carer may feel stressed, but there are also various methods to help relax and take away stress.
Fostering is a 24/7 job, caring for the child or young person. Looking after them, picking them up from school, taking them to activities, cooking and cleaning for them. It is a full time, which can sometimes leave foster carers with little time for themselves to relax. Everyone in life at times will feel stressed, it is a very natural emotion. There are some great methods to help with stress relief.
Support: At Sunbeam we have lots of support to each individual one of our foster carers. Our dedicated social workers will be able to help you through any situation. We also have an 24/7, 365 days a year out of hours teams, at any point of the day or night when you need support you will be able to call us and we will be able to guide and support you. In addition, we also have great training and support groups for our foster carers, this is a great opportunity for you to meet other foster carers and our well trained team members to speak about different experiences and ways to deal with different situations which you can then use in the home environment. Having support from friends and family is key, someone to talk to when you have one of them stressful days, someone to listen to you and give you that support.
Organisation: Life can get pretty busy at times, fitting in your own schedule as well as the child or young person in your cares schedule; this can sometimes be overwhelming, but there are ways to help schedule and plan out the different meetings, activities and events that have been sorted for you to attend. Something as simple as creating a list or calendar which you can place somewhere in the family home where by everyone can see it. This will help to keep things more organised and planned in the household, this can be very beneficial when ensuring nothing is double booked.
Take a moment for yourself: Taking time for yourself is very important, it could just be for a little while during the day, when the children are at school or playing an activity, or in the evening once they have gone to bed. Everybody needs the chance to relax and take some time out for themselves.
Respite: Respite is an option for foster carers where by it gives foster carers a short period of rest from their placement.
Do one thing at a time: Take one thing at a time, it can be very stressful trying to juggle too many tasks at the same time. Try focusing on the things that need to be done with urgency, create a list and prioritize. Be realistic on what you can do, try not to over work yourself set yourself achievable goals.
If you have any questions you would like to discuss, we would love to help. Please contact our team on 02087 990 930.