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How can you manage stress as a foster carer?

Stress Blog (1)

The pressures of everyday life, paired with the demands of caring for a young person, can feel tough at times. While fostering is hugely rewarding, it can come with a unique set of challenges – whether that’s balancing responsibilities or perhaps supporting a child with complex needs. This is why we prioritise the wellbeing of our foster carers and young people.

Foster carers should prioritise self-care, so they can provide stable placements for children in need. But as a nation, people are feeling more tense than ever. In the UK’s largest-ever stress survey, 74% of people said stress has made them feel overwhelmed or unable to cope.[1]

April marks Stress Awareness Month, and this year’s theme, #LittleByLittle, highlights the power of small, consistent actions on our mental and physical health. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the steps you can take to improve your health, relationships, and overall well-being while fostering.


Communicate how you feel

Expressing how you feel brings a sense of relief and validation, helping you to process and cope with challenging situations more effectively. How you do this depends on what you feel comfortable with. Some people might choose to journal, while others might prefer to talk to friends, family or a professional. At Olive Branch, our social workers are on hand 24/7 to listen and offer support when you need it and visit you at your home at least once a month. If you ever need someone to talk to, our team is always here.

Take time out for yourself

It’s important to carve out pockets of time to relax – whether that’s doing yoga, reading a chapter of your book, or simply practising deep breathing exercises. For a busy foster carer, it can be hard to find time for long stints of self-care but taking just a few moments out each day will help reduce your stress levels and give you the strength to support the young person in your care.

Cut yourself some slack

Caring for foster children requires patience, understanding and compassion – but remember to extend this same level of grace to yourself. Acknowledge the positive impact you’re making and celebrate your achievements. Recognising your progress and resilience will boost your confidence and self-esteem – and build your capacity to offer loving care to those who need it.

Connect with people who understand

Foster carers play a crucial role in giving vulnerable children stability and support. And this can be emotionally demanding. Having a like-minded community to lean on will help alleviate stress and loneliness. At Olive Branch, we run regular fostering forums and support groups, where carers can connect, receive training and share experiences.

To give support, you have to be able to receive it

It’s true that “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. To become the best possible foster carer, you have to prioritise your own well-being. By accepting support and focusing on just one small self-care action each day, caregivers will not only enhance their own lives but also inspire those in their care to overcome obstacles, ask for help when they need it and build meaningful connections.


If you’re interested in learning more about fostering with Olive Branch Fostering, you can read about why you should choose us here.

And if you, or someone you know, is considering fostering in the North West, our friendly team is on hand to answer any questions you have. You can call us on 01706 558910 or contact us online.







  • Support
  • Social

Date published

11 April 2024

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