Anxiety is bound to be an inevitable presence in your home after starting a new placement. It is natural to feel nervous when meeting new people and staying in a new place. When you add in all the extra considerations, it is easy to understand why and how a foster child would carry anxiety when they first come to live with you. It is your job, as their carer, to recognise the signs and learn how to help them. This guide will tell you how to know when anxiety is about and how to help your foster child with these challenges.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a common affliction that millions of people suffer from at some point in their life. It is categorised as feelings of stress, worry, and trepidation and can manifest in many different ways and cause a range of symptoms. When anxiety becomes unmanageable, it can cause mental health to deteriorate. That is why it’s vital to know the signs and do something about them when you spot them.
Understand Your Role
As a foster carer, you will have a lot of responsibilities. Read as much as possible about what your job will entail and ensure the source is reputable, knowledgeable, and relevant, such as orangegrovefostercare.co.uk. To successfully rise to the challenges and meet the needs of your new foster child, you have to know what you might be facing and how you’re going to face it.
Abrasive attitudes are hard to manage; however, they are a fairly common symptom of anxiety. This condition often makes people feel more defensive, or on edge, and therefore increases aggressive responses. Stay neutral and hold your boundaries while trying to name the feeling in a safe space. The child is lashing out because they are scared in the majority of cases, and it is your job to help them see peace.
Food aversion is another common symptom of anxiety. If your child is avoiding meal times, craving sugary snacks, and struggling to eat at core moments, anxiety could be the cause behind it. Food aversion should be discussed with your social worker so that a collaborative strategy can be implemented.
Quietness and Withdrawal
Anxiety is renowned for causing withdrawal from social situations and family life. A child who is feeling all types of emotions will naturally pull back from together time and be quiet as well. This could change as their confidence and trust grow, and it is fairly typical.
Use Your Training: Ask for More
It is always important to use your training techniques and ask for more input if you are really struggling with a particular manifestation of behaviour. Regardless of the cause, you need strategies to move things forward in a more positive direction.
Anxiety might be there from the very first meeting with your new foster child. Use what you learned during training sessions to carry you through the initial settling in period. Above all else, take decisive action to ensure you know the warning signs so the problem does not escalate and cause bigger consequences.