Tuesday, March 5, 2024
HomeHealthHow to Keep Foster Children Happy and Healthy

How to Keep Foster Children Happy and Healthy

Becoming a foster parent is one of the most rewarding things you can do as an adult. Supporting a child who has faced extreme challenges and being the key player in turning their life around gives you a true sense of achievement and purpose. Whether you’ve recently fostered, or you’re thinking about making the leap, it can be a daunting prospect, especially if you aren’t sure how to keep your child happy and healthy. That’s why we’ve designed a guide with some of our top tips to help. 

Keep In Touch with Your Agency

When you foster a child, the agency that you choose will play one of, if not the biggest part in your experience. A good agency will encourage you to keep in touch with them frequently to check in on your child’s progress. Some of the best agencies in the UK include orangegrovefostercare.co.uk, who provide a dedicated social worker, specialist ongoing training courses and a 24/7 helpline. To best support your foster child’s health and happiness, making the most of these resources is vital.  

Promote a Healthy Lifestyle 

As a foster parent, one of your biggest priorities should be the promotion and upkeep of a healthy family lifestyle. A well-balanced, nutritious meal plan and regular exercise, whether through sports or other activities, is one of the best ways to do this. However, you should also consider your child’s sleep health – are they sleeping for enough hours each night, and do they go to bed at a regular time? Helping your foster child develop their own sleep routine is a great way to keep them happy and healthy while setting them up for future success. 

Look Beyond Challenging Behaviours

Children in the foster care system have usually experienced trauma in their lives. Because of this, it is important to view all behaviours through a trauma-based lens. All kids display challenging behaviours at times, such as toddler tantrums and teenage meltdowns. This is perfectly normal, but with foster kids, you must be mindful that challenging behaviours may have deeper root causes. Use empathy rather than judgement, as this will make dealing with everyday problems easier. 

Look After Yourself, Too! 

When you become a foster parent, things can feel overwhelming. All of a sudden, you might have a lot on your plate, and things can add up fast. It’s important to remember that your foster child relies on you for their own health, so if you aren’t feeling your best, then they’ll pick up on this. Looking after yourself and prioritising your own wellbeing is crucial if you want your child to succeed, so make sure to stick to a healthy diet, exercise, and sleep pattern. This way, you can care for them in the best way possible without burning yourself out. 

Ultimately, how you keep your foster child happy and healthy will depend on their unique personality, characteristics and what they respond well to, but by implementing some of these tips you can ensure that you’re doing the best you can. Being proactive and choosing the right agency, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and looking after yourself too allows you to become the very best foster parent that you can be.  

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