“…people who work with, listen to and try and help traumatised children are at risk of internalising their children’s trauma, leading to secondary trauma.” https://www.researchunbound.org.uk/trauma/6-impact-of-secondary-trauma/ (25/01/2020), C Gordon & K Wallace, March 2015
Foster-carers face unique challenges and demands. They care for and create a parental bond with traumatised children who can present challenging, sometimes inexplicable, behaviours which can leave foster-carers questioning their parenting skills, remaining in ‘fire-fighting’ mode for long periods, leading to exhaustion and compassion fatigue.
When we experience compassion-fatigue, our empathy decreases, and we cease to feel pleasure or joy. We become stressed, anxious, sleepless and low in mood. We are not able to work sensitively as a therapeutic parent to our traumatised child, and therefore lose connection. The child will sense this lack of empathy which can lead them to become more demanding. Because a foster-carer works at home, 24/7, there is little time for respite or ‘time-out’, unlike in other caring professions.
By providing some tools to build resilience and combat compassion-fatigue it forms part of the foster-carers’ valuable resources.
The original programme was funded by The National Lottery Community Fund Awards for All. We were fortunate to be granted £10,000 to deliver this project but due to COVID19, only half the sessions were held before lockdown.
We have responded to COVID19 by adapting resources to continue to deliver this Programme but without our equine partners.
Thanks to the generosity of Community Foundation Wales, we have had the resources to create a series of ten one-hour, interactive Zoom sessions begins on 23rd June, bringing mindfulness and yoga practices, meditation and breathing exercises, and art activities to ten foster-carers who will be able to participate with Jackie, Louise and Sally, and have access to a library of MP3 recordings to keep
We’re able to accommodate a variety of requirements. Get in touch with us to discuss needs and availability.