Providing foster care for children who have often experienced abuse, neglect, trauma and loss, is highly demanding. The complex demands of these children require foster carers to have robust mental health and well-being.
Foster carers are at risk of experiencing Compassion Fatigue. This is generally defined as a combination of emotional and physical burnout and secondary traumatic stress.
Because the foster carer’s home is also their place of work, there is little opportunity to take a break, rest and re-charge. 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?
- Explore the ways in which the changes to family dynamics brought about by fostering causes stress
- Identify ways of maintaining positive elements of “pre-fostering life” and self-care
- Explore how the stresses caused by Covid may manifest themselves for carers and children and how to minimise these stresses
- Analyse factors that lead to compassion fatigue in your work
- Identify coping strategies that you can use to increase your resiliency
- Develop ways to find support for yourself and give support to your colleagues