Poor humans. And especially those with the responsibility of child fostering. I am minded of the cautionary tale of Pandora’s box. We are all of us either infatuated with, or enforced to engage with the online world. No business can operate without the internet, and now most employees are required to use it – even if just for sending emails. We have rushed headlong into this online world – so performing an action that may have seemed small – or perhaps even innocent, remains one that cannot be reversed. The online world surrounds us at home, work – and via our smartphones when we are on the move. It is all pervasive. This is a relatively new experience for adults, but this generation of young people is the first to be so thoroughly immersed in this ‘brave new’ online world. And some of the consequences now coming into view look to be serious and far reaching.
There is a mounting crisis in the mental health of children and young people who are confronting social pressures that are quite unprecedented. This is feeding through into rising levels of psychological distress. Child fostering is challenging at the best of times: the task is that potentially much harder now increasing numbers of young people are suffering from mental health problems.
Whilst not everything can be attributed to the effects of the internet, the growing number of organisations campaigning against cyber bullying testify to where a significant part of the problem lies. Social media is almost something a child or young person, without looking strange to their peers, has to participate in. We are social beings and always have been, so it is natural to engage. What is new is the state of affairs where a person gets to a situation where they feel they have no choice but to engage. This can particularly affect young people. That this needs to be taken extremely seriously is evidenced by some disturbing facts: among girls, instances of self harming have sky rocketed in the last ten years; the number of girls needing hospital attention after cutting themselves has quadrupled, and incidents of taking poison have gone up by more than 40 percent.
What is important is that professionals involved with childcare are trained to deal with the rising levels of emotional distress that are now being seen. It must also be acknowledged that the pressures on young people posed by our educational system, can also have a negative impact. A government Health Select Committee is now beginning a fresh inquiry into the role that education can play in promoting emotional wellbeing in children and young people. Much of the focus will be on preventing the development of mental health problems. There is a wider responsibility across society to be aware of these issues as they impact upon the young. Surely the best measure for the well being of any country is the mental health and emotional security of its young people. They are, after all, its future. For more general information on this and related issues, visit –
Considering child fostering: explore our ‘Rainbow Rewards’
Should you now be thinking about child fostering – possibly fostering babies or teenagers – Rainbow is a fostering agency here to give all the support you need: and, remember, a bonus can be claimed! If you refer someone, £500 will be paid: you’ll receive the money once your referral has been approved and the first placement accepted. Current foster carers considering transferring to the Rainbow Fostering network may also qualify for a bonus via our ‘Rainbow Rewards’ scheme. This will be a payment, once approved, for carers who already have youngsters placed with them on a long-term basis. Rainbow is an independent fostering agency working hard to attract more people dedicated to child fostering. Our specialist fostering recruitment team is available on 020 8427 3355 to answer any questions you might have. You can always leave your contact details on our web site so we can contact you at a time that is convenient.
And the good news at the end of this particular rainbow…The number of followers we have on Twitter has been growing rapidly: thank you to all those who have taken the time to follow us and the very many who have sent interesting and supportive messages