Information for the public

If you're a carer

What you can do for your child

Be sensitive. Bear in mind that the child you are looking after:

  • may have difficulty managing their emotions

  • may be afraid of getting close to anyone

  • may feel unsafe and alone

  • may be traumatised by their experiences

  • needs to be in a loving relationship.

Learn to understand when your child is upset and what their behaviour means. Remember, the way your child behaves may be related to their experiences. If you feel like this is difficult for you, talk to your health or social care worker as they can arrange training and support to help.

Remember to respond positively to your child to make them feel supported and secure. Explain what's going on when any changes or help and support are offered, so they don't feel like things are happening without them knowing.

If they're adopted or in care, remember your child may want to stay in contact with, or make contact with, their original family or birth parents and they will need your support to do this.

Make sure you're ready to form a loving relationship. Think about the future, and whether you're prepared to commit to your child's care in the long term.

The help you should get

You should be offered training if you want it to prepare you for the challenges of looking after your child. For example, how to respond to challenging behaviour and how to stop arguments. You should also get ongoing help and support over the phone or in person, with extra support if things get difficult. For example, you might be referred to a specialist service that can help with video feedback. Or, you and your child could have therapy together.

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