services for foster carers
A transformative programme supporting the emotional well-being and resilience of carers
A new and essential programme enabling foster carers to build resilience and remain calm (even when it’s all kicking off!) through a new understanding of their own emotional responses.
Linda and her family fostered for 11 years and it is this experience that drew her to develop this unique training to support all foster carers and potential and current adopters. It is designed to support the positive work already underway through Fostering Agencies and Departments to support the well-being of all carers working in this challenging career.
The key aim is to support the emotional well-being and resilience of all foster carers, potentially enabling them to avoid disruption to placements, burnout or quitting the role.
The understanding she shares in all aspects of her work is based on the Three Principles, a new approach to psychology that explains the true nature of our emotional experience and which has positively impacted hundreds of people she has worked with. This approach is woven into the fabric of the “Fostering Emotions” programme.
Read about the Pilot/ beta-testing and background to running this new programme here.
Why is this programme essential?
Fostering is parenting on Nitrox!
Fostering is a whole new emotional landscape, even for experienced parents.
It’s parenting where you need to get up to speed quickly every time a child or young person enters your home, forever responding to their needs as they start letting you into their world and more layers of trauma are revealed along with behaviours that you may never have encountered before.
It’s parenting where you
- Hear the horrors of child’s past but try not to let the child see how this affects you.
- Hide your emotions unless they are ‘nice ones’ a lot of the time.
- Go fast ‘mentally’ whilst on the outside appear calm to create a safe and nurturing environment.
And on it goes….
There’s all the new people that come into your world, from professionals to the family members of the child in your care. You are expected to have a positive working relationship with them even when it seems like they’re criticising, placing unreasonable demands on you or not respecting your views and needs.
Sure it’s a ‘job’ and you usually get great training and support, but it’s also 24/7. You are potentially ‘on duty’ non-stop, and you can’t sidle home for a break because that’s where it’s all happening! The non-stop demands on you physically, emotionally and mentally, as well as on your personal space and your time can take their toll.
The full-on nature of it can be exhausting, draining and lead carers to request a placement to end when it starts affecting their own or their family’s emotional well-being, health or relationships.
The strain can sometimes be too much and foster carers may quit the role as they believe they’ve reached a point of no return and have given it all as much as they can give. The term ‘compassion fatigue’ has been introduced in recent years which covers this well.
This is against a backdrop of more children requiring stable, loving foster homes than ever before, but more carers leaving the service than are joining
WHAT CAN HELP PREVENT THIS STAGE BEING REACHED?
Sometimes ending a placement or leaving caring is the right decision for all concerned. But the carer should not be on their knees and suffering before getting to that decision, possibly making it a hurried and potentially traumatic ending.
However if it isn’t the right decision, then great support and being heard (especially by the fostering agency) is a huge help. Not just verbal support though – there have to be appropriate, timely and practical interventions too.
The support of others who know the nature of the environment and can understand and empathise is very powerful, so networking with other foster carers is a fantastic resource which should be encouraged and supported. This is a positive area of focus for many fostering agencies who ensure it is in place.
Opportunities to speak with someone in confidence who is impartial and can help introduce a different perspective can also help ease the pressure of the moment.
But sometimes that’s not enough.
When you feel emotionally triggered, and probably have a good idea why, it still doesn’t stop it happening and growing.
You may try to suppress it, mask how you are feeling and carry on, for the sake of your family and especially the child you are caring for (goodness knows, they don’t need to see your emotions or ‘weaknesses’ – they’ve already had enough to deal with!), and unfortunately it doesn’t go away. In fact it may get worse.
I know. I’ve been there.
SO WHAT’S THE ANSWER?
From my own experience of caring and what I’ve studied since, knowing more about the true nature of our felt experience, feelings and emotions and what they are telling us is essential and powerful.
The understanding that I share in my coaching and training programmes is simple, effective and can help anyone move through the full range of their emotions very differently; with more ease and grace and back to balance and well-being more quickly.
The Fostering Emotions programme is a unique offering designed in consultation with current foster carers to address the issues they find most challenging emotionally.
THE FOSTERING EMOTIONS PROGRAMME
Building on the suite of training already provided by Fostering Agencies/ Services, this unique programme provides carers with the opportunity to understand and explore issues that are the most pertinent to supporting and nurturing their emotional well-being and resilience.
It provides a ‘toolkit’ or methodology suitable for all situations and increases a carer’s ability to respond rather than react, whatever is happening, be more comfortable with their emotions, to be able to let things go and to settle back to calmness more easily.
It and fills an apparent gap in the TDS for foster care by focusing squarely on the emotional resilience and well-being of carers.
Topics covered include resilience and what can affect it, what feelings and emotions are and their role in creating our experience, the pressure we can create by trying to be the perfect carer, relationships in and around the caring role, coping better when things get under our skin and the dimensions of self-care and why it’s essential for those in the caring role.
Fostering Emotions is a 12 hour programme with built-in support that is flexible and can be delivered over 4-6 sessions either in person or online, to suit your organisation’s preferred way of training carers.
It’s highly interactive and experiential and ideal for new and experienced carers and also adopters.
It’s for people open to the possibility that something very simple may be the key to a far calmer, healthier experience of life.
It’s NOT for those who like to intellectualise, who prefer lots of facts and data or to be told what to do in different circumstances. It’s not about that.
Request more information about this high impact programme here or
Contact Linda for details about the next group programme, including the next available start date, or to arrange a block booking for up to 12 carers.
One to one or couples mentoring of foster carers is also available – please ask.
Next Steps to Get Started
Book in for an Exploratory call. We’ll have a chat to see if this programme is a good fit for you or your organisation – no pressure, just exploring your needs and thoughts at this stage.
If it’s a good match we can discuss dates, formats and the investment needed to proceed.
Linda delivered a fantastic workshop to the Women’s Staff Network at Croydon Council. It was truly inspiring and the session elements really enhanced the enga... Read More
Linda supported me through a really difficult time in my personal and work life. She helped me focus on what mattered and how to stay calm but also energised.
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Linda helped me with an issue I’d been struggling with for a very long time. She was supportive and kind and helped me see what was behind it all in my th... Read More
I had my first session over video call with Linda recently and beforehand I was very worried about it as I don’t usually like doing them. From the second we b... Read More
Linda’s extensive and varied background enables her to deliver bespoke training events tailored to the specific needs of the group she is engaged with.
She is... Read More
I had been going through a particularly difficult period personally, which had resulted in my questioning myself. She provided a safe space within which it was ... Read More
I had a very emotional and liberating coaching session as part of a programme with Linda and immediately felt that a weight that had been holding me back had be... Read More
I worked with Linda on both a VIP course and 1:1 outside of that. I hand on heart say she is amazing.
I have so much going on in my life as well as a lot of bag... Read More
Have you ever felt so far down that dark hole that nobody can reach you?
Linda can. She has an amazing way of showing you the ladder to climb up onto. She doesn... Read More
I have currently done two courses with Linda! they have both really helped me with my mental health and helped me cope with my emotions. I have really learnt so... Read More
I was signed off work with work-related stress and was not seeing any real results from traditional counselling. My low self-confidence, brain fog and Imposter ... Read More