And why your furry friends can make all the difference in foster care.
Young people who can no longer live in their homes, can quite rightly struggle to assimilate in their new settings. From smells, to an unfamilar layout in the home to new people, there’s a lot to contend with when a young person enters a new home.
Breaking the ice is crucial, but how do you navigate this whilst dealing with care plans, social workers and paperwork?
Pets are non-judgemental, comforting, familiar and a useful tool to distract from the emotional turblence they may be experiencing. Interactions with pets can illicit responses from young people that may not happen with carers’ until much later. Incredibly useful when you may be discussing the young person with professionals.
Routine, responsibility, confidence & self-esteem
Struggles with self-esteem and confidence blight young people in care, this is often due to having very little experience of routine or a loving home life. Pets need this in order to be healthy and thrive, and being able to demonstrate routine and care via a pet can give a young person context to assist their own personal development.
Most importantly are the therapeutic effects pets have on us as people. A simple lick on the cheek, a purrr at your feet, a guinea-pig time-trial (just me?) can neutralise feelings of isolation and lonliness.
More often than not, pets provide that much needed reset after a bad day – Something funny happen on a walk? Did you bump into someone? Were there many other dogs out? Pets have a tendancy to save the day through conversation starters, reassurances and best of all, love.