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Going through the foster care can be a trying time for children, which is understandable considering the sensitive circumstances that they’ll be in. During this time, the child is going through a wide range of emotions and uncertainty. This leads to stress which can negatively affect the child after everything that they would have been through. To calm a stressed child, you need to have patience and compassion.
Here are some of the ways in which you can calm a stressed child:
Know the Background
Try and find out as much as you can about the child. Having the right knowledge and skills helps inform how you on how to handle the child. For example, if they have experienced physical abuse, physical contact or touch might not be welcomed by the child. Find out what they like as this will provide an ice-breaker or common ground for you and the child to communicate. What are their hobbies or interests? Do they have a favourite toy? These are great conversation starters with children.
Create a Conducive Environment
The child needs to know that they are safe around you and that they can come to you about anything. Provide a listening ear and comfort them as they open up. Provide basic things that kids love such as toys or a simple arts and craft corner. Not only will these keep them entertained but some of them are therapeutic by nature and will calm the child anyway. Let the child know where everything is so that they can make themselves feel at home as some of them might have trouble communicating.
Let Them Know That It’s Going to be Okay
The child is very uncertain during this time so take every available opportunity to reassure them that everything will be fine. They will probably have a lot of questions so be prepared for those to the best of your ability. Communication amongst all the parties involved in the foster system will go a long away to making this process easier. If a child’s questions are answered satisfactorily it will create confidence in the system for the child and alleviate uncertainly, stress and anxiety.
Ultimately, each child is different, which makes every situation unique. As a foster caregiver, you’ll need to assess each situation separately and provide the necessary support for the child. Cultivating healthy relations with other partners involved in the foster care process will make life much simpler in the long run.
If you are considering fostering or know someone that is please contact us by calling +44 1702 59 77 97 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org