Dos and Dont’s for carers

  • Build a village of support for you, your family and the child/ren you care for.
  • Understand what therapeutic support has already been provided to a child and support their ongoing journey of healing.
  • Be prepared for the highs, the lows everything in between.
  • Find ways to meet a child’s family yourself and build a natural approach to family time.
  • Find room in your days to laugh, have fun, be light.
  • Ask for supervision from your agency to support you on your carer journey.
  • Get familiar with trauma informed care and impact of grief and loss on children and carers.
  • Be open to learning through training – in person and online.
  • Know the signs of vicarious trauma.
  • Be gentle with yourself and others.
  • Remember that a child’s behaviours are not who they are.
  • Ask your agency ‘does s/he already know and have connection to siblings? If not, why not?’.
  • Take time out for yourself. Often. Hopefully daily.
  • Notice if you are becoming fatigued, resentful, blaming and tend to this.
  • Believe in the power to heal from trauma. It may not look how you expect it to, but children and young people can heal with the right support, love, commitment and connection.

Don’t

  • Forget what you are doing is really important. Whilst it may not feel like it on some days, you can have a positive lasting impact (this includes emergency carers, respite carers).
  • Forget the Code of Conduct your agency has asked you to sign. Get familiar with this.
  • Say yes to more than you can handle.
  • Blame children for their behaviour.
  • Find excuses for children not to have connection to their family. This is their right and their parent’s, siblings and extended families right.
  • Ever intentionally cause harm to children in your care. 
  • Expect that a child will instantaneously be ok just because s/he is living in a safe home. 
  • Pretend everything is ok if you are struggling.
  • Be shy to advocate for yourself to be the best carer you can be.
  • Be shy to advocate for a child/ren in your care.
  • Isolate yourself.
  • Expect the caseworkers to provide you all information about a child (they cant and wont).
  • Say no to help/assistance from your friends and family.
  • Forget to create a ‘gratitude practice’ at the end of each day. Find three things/people you are grateful for and identify one hope for tomorrow.  Going to sleep with a thankful mindset will help you sleep and re-set for tomorrow.

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