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Fostering children means fitness counts

An occasional Rainbow series just taking a casual look at things to consider to enrich your fostering experience. If you are fostering children, you’ll almost certainly have come across it being described as challenging and rewarding. It certainly can be but to really get the most from fostering, it is a good idea to be aware of your fitness levels. Whatever your age, it is only sensible to think  about maintaining a good diet and exercising. No one is talking about running a marathon, but the nation is facing an epidemic of obesity, and this is especially apparent amongst increasing numbers of young people. Taking an interest in your own health is an excellent example to set if you are fostering children. Young people should be introduced to cooking and establishing good dietary habits. Preparing meals is an excellent way of communicating with children in your care – it promotes bonding and can provide an excellent way for children to open up about problems, or worries they may have. It can help a child establish sensible eating habits which can benefit them for the rest of their lives. What better gift could be given than helping a young person to avoid the miseries of ill health brought on in later life through poor diet? Anyone fostering children will know how they seem to notice so much…carers who set a positive example by taking an interest in exercising and eating healthily will be setting a great example. Providing encouragement for their foster children to do likewise is a demonstration  of care and interest. This can make them feel valued and able to settle more quickly and easily. Sadly, many children coming into care will have been neglected in a whole host of different ways – often this means having had a poor diet over a prolonged period of time. So paying attention to food and nutrition is a great way of making them feel valued – and this can make such an amazing difference.

Fitness can be fun when fostering children

Fostering children and the benefits of keeping fit

At Rainbow, we never forget that although; naturally, much attention is paid to the children being fostered, our carers need to be supported and reminded to take care of themselves. Fostering can be stressful and coping with stress can so much easier when you have some effective strategies.

it is important for carers to have interests in their own lives – things that they can do that are enjoyable. Fostering usually means carers have little time to devote to themselves: when there is a lack of variety in life – whatever you do – stress can result. Over time, this can make it harder for a foster carer to do their best for the child or young person they look after. This stress can ultimately jeopardise a placement which is not in anyones interest – prevention is better than cure so the first thing to do is to relax…and have a think about what you might like to take up.

We are not for moment suggesting attempts on Everest, or running marathons. We don’t want to be responsible for blisters! Some of our foster carers have recently taken up yoga, which can be an excellent way of reducing stress when fostering children or young people. It can be a very sociable thing to do as well…maybe make some new friends! Yoga is an ancient form of exercise which began in India around 5,000 years ago. It promotes the development of flexibility and strength. There is a special focus upon breathing control to reduce stress and build up levels of physical and mental well-being. It has some amazing benefits to offer: the immune system can be boosted and strengthened; it can help with general aches and pains; more serious conditions can also be alleviated by yoga – such as high blood pressure, heart disease, back pain and depression. Practising yoga has also shown to be helpful for people suffering from arthritis and migraines. And what is really good news – yoga really does help people achieve better sleep which is known to really help reduce stress levels.

Fitness to Foster at any age

It is especially good to know that; considering most people are over the age of 35 when they start fostering children, yoga can be taken up at any age. It is fairly common for people to  start yoga classes when they are in their 70’s. And if yoga doesn’t appeal, dancing is a great way to keep fit – if your taste is in ballroom dancing this doesn’t just mean watching ‘Strictly’…

For more detailed information about yoga visit the link below – http://www.bwy.org.uk/

Our ‘Rainbow Rewards’ show how much we value your interest

Do you have a friend perhaps thinking of fostering children?  Many people have a preference for  fostering babies. Wherever your interest lies, Rainbow is a fostering agency making available the highest quality fostering services. Currently we will be happy to pay you £500 if you can refer someone. The money will be paid over once that person has been approved and received their first foster child. Plus, any existing foster carer pondering transferring to Rainbow Fostering Services will also receive a generous bonus under the scheme. This will be a £2000 bonus once approved, for carers who have children already placed with them on a long-term basis, and £500 for any foster carers who do not have children placed with them. As an independent fostering agency, we like our Rainbow Rewards to offer a real incentive. Call our fostering recruitment team on

020 8427 3355 to discuss.

And the good news at the end of this particular rainbow…you can now check the details on our Facebook page http://bit.ly/2csBXVd for the latest about our fostering news – exciting winter competitions include our ‘Fabulous Firework’ competition with great prizes to be won

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