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Compassion Fatigue in Foster Carers

Do you know the signs of Compassion Fatigue in Foster Carers?

It is not hard to imagine how demanding caring for children who have experienced abuse, neglect, trauma and loss must be. The complex needs of these children require workers to have robust mental health and well-being. When we also hold in mind that a Foster Carers’ workplace is also their home, we understand that breaks and opportunities to re-charge can be tough to come by.

It is not surprising then that foster carers are at risk of Compassion Fatigue. Compassion Fatigue is generally defined as a state of emotional and physical burnout combined with secondary traumatic stress. It can be exacerbated further when carers are not told about the exact abuse, trauma and neglect a particular child may have experienced, and the full spectrum of their current behaviours.

As well as affecting their mental health and well-being, this situation also impacts the quality and consistency of care provided to the vulnerable children they look after.

Are you and your agency aware of the signs of compassion fatigue?

There are several reasons why compassion fatigue training is important:

1. It empowers carers to know and perhaps notice signs within themselves
Carers may experience a loss of joy in their work, more negative thoughts and feelings, loss of sleep, increased anxiety levels. They may also find that they now don’t feel as naturally empathetic as they remember being, and may identity themselves “shutting down”.

2. It can allow carers to discover that they are not alone
Group discussion offer a safe place for carers to support each other and strategise together without blame or shame around how they are feeling.

3. It identifies coping strategies
Foster carers need very practical techniques they can use to support themselves as they support the children in their care.

Compassion Fatigue Training – Learning Outcomes

  1. To enhance our knowledge and understanding of attachment theory and its effect on personal and professional relationships
  2. Understand the attachment pattern we may have developed and learn the possible implications for our caring relationship
  3. Develop an understanding of how attachment patterns can be altered
  4. Identify what co-regulation means, why it’s essential, and how to apply it
  5. Discuss the challenges and successful skills in applying therapeutic foster care
  6. Explore how the changes to family dynamics brought about by fostering causes stress
  7. Analyse factors that lead to compassion fatigue 
  8. Identify critical signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue
  9. Identify coping strategies that you can use to increase resiliency
  10. Identify ways of maintaining positive elements of “pre-fostering life” and self-care
  11. Develop ways to find support for yourself and give support to your colleagues

If you would like to discuss this training please drop an email to admin@socialcaretrainingsolutions.com or you can explore all of our courses here.

Ongoing Due-Dilligence

Foster carers need to understand and manage the particular risks they may face, while helping children to have as normal a childhood as possible. So the key to on-going due diligence is about foster carers being aware of the risks involved for particular children in different situations, and making well thought through decisions, in partnership with the child’s social worker and the fostering service. This transparency and support will go some way to preventing carers becoming overwhelmed by Compassion Fatigue.

If you would like to discuss this training please drop an email to admin@socialcaretrainingsolutions.com or you can explore all of our courses here.

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