International Stress Awareness Week
4th November - 8th November
Stress is something we experience in everyday life and can be a common factor for foster parents. There can be many elements that can cause stress for foster parents; relationships, finances, housework, social workers and the responsibility of caring for a child or young person. There are various reasons why foster parents may feel stressed, but there are also various methods to help relax and take away stress.
Foster parents share their lives with some of the most vulnerable youngsters. Everyday foster parents come into contact with different stressful situations. Fostering takes a large proportion of a foster parent’s life, sometimes leaving little space for activities or downtime to relax and refresh. It’s important to remember that being stressed isn’t a bad thing, it’s natural, especially when you have a lot of responsibility. The key is to recognise stress and seek appropriate help to find ways of managing and dealing with it, ensuring you take care of yourself before others.
We’ve suggested a few methods to help...
Take a moment for yourself, whether that’s by taking a nap while the children are at school. Make sure you find time to prioritise yourself. Everybody needs the chance to relax and take some time out for themselves.
Nurture Fostering believes that support groups can make a valuable contribution to the range of support services available for foster parents. The Nurture Foster Care Association (NFCA) currently runs support groups for all registered foster parents. It is an expectation that foster parents should attend these groups so as to share experiences, and also as another source of support. Having someone to talk to, whether family or friends, is crucial when you need help and support.
Preparation and planning are crucial when managing multiple schedules at one time. Something as simple as a list on the fridge or a calendar that everyone in the home can see will keep things more organised in the household, which can be very beneficial for everyone.
Respite is a way of supporting foster parents, giving them a much-needed break. If you do this, it’s important that your child must be helped to understand that it is not because of them or their behaviour. But, all parents, whether birth family or foster parents occasionally need time for themselves to recuperate from the strains of caring.