Welcome to Day 6 of Scottish Children’s Health Week 2022! this penultimate day is #BeKind Saturday. Kindness is about choosing to do something that helps others or yourself, motivated by genuine warm feelings. How can you show kindness to those around you – big and small?
Our SCHW 2022 Activity Book promoted three super #BeKind Saturday ideas to try, each one with kindness at its heart. These activities were: creating an Inspiration Station and being kind to others and those in your community. Curiosity Collective partnered with us and created a brilliant Random Acts of Kindness Challenge, which involved setting three kindness goals to complete by the end of the day. This activity is so fun and simple that it can easily be repeated to make everyday a kind day.
Kindness is a huge part of our Care Experienced Children and Young People Service, which is why we wanted to give them the spotlight for this day. We recorded a discussion with two foster carers who run support groups in their area. Foster and Kinship carers are often overlooked groups, so we wanted to give them a chance to speak about their experiences, especially regarding peer support in their groups.
The Care-Experienced Service decided to make a video with Foster Carers talking about the value of Foster Care support groups. The stimulus for this came about from a workshop we were conducting for The Fostering Network (TFN) where in talking about ideas for what helps support them, 2 Foster Carers suddenly started talking about the value of their Foster Care Support Groups and the theme of Kindness or #BeKind naturally emerged. Now we had heard of and worked with KC support groups many times, but we were not aware of the same thing in Foster Care, so we were delighted to follow this up and in due course approach these Foster Carers.
Anne Wilson and Sarah Nelson, from the Care Experienced Children and Young People’s Service, said: “We got the idea for the video from the Foster Carers (FC) themselves during a workshop when they were talking so passionately about the value of their FC Support Groups. We were quite blown away by the level of care and support displayed by the 3 Foster Carers we interviewed to make this video on what their FC Support Groups mean to them.
“They talked about the support that they can only get from other Carers not from a worker no matter how well trained. One carer explained she can phone members of the core group – anybody, any time of night or day and ask for help knowing they would be there with a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen and time just to help. That for her was essence of kindness, empathy and support.”
“The theme #BeKind is often something we see expressed in our workshops particularly in the Face-to-Face sessions when carers have an opportunity to chat over breaks and lunchtime. They are not talking about the weather or what they are doing at the weekend – but rather the issues and problems they are coping with in caring for their children. This is where we see true compassion and empathy between carers come to the fore as they listen to and advise each other from their own lived experience. In their words:
“There is no one understands what you are going through better than someone who has been through it themselves.”
“This is the first time I have been heard and believed.”
Please watch the video below to hear the full conversation:
We also wanted to share the “Calming Techniques” webinar which we delivered to carers earlier this year and which an online version can now be found on the KCASS website. Many carers found this to be a valuable session, so we wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to watch.
Find out more about our Care Experienced Children and Young People’s Service here.
Ready for more PLAY? Head over to our SCHW 2022 Activity Book to find a full week’s worth of fun and play.