A Foster Carer’s Guide to Family Health in Northern Ireland

Although this article is being written for foster carers in Northern Ireland, the same information could hold true for any family living anywhere in the world. It all boils down to basic guidelines to meet the needs of every member of the household of any age. From little children to senior citizens, and everyone in between, there are three main aspects of what constitutes good health. That would be the state of our emotional health, meeting our nutritional needs, and observing a healthy level of activity. Let’s look at that for just a moment.

Emotional Health: The Need for Feeling Safe and Secure

When it comes to children in care, it is probably safe to say that all have experienced some sort of trauma in their young lives. Some have been neglected, others abused. Some children may feel the pain of being separated from their birth families. With such a wide range of emotional stressors these children may be experiencing, the very best thing you can do is to be that safety net they so deserve.

According to, it’s about “Team Parenting.” They offer various services to support children in care in almost every aspect of their lives. So, too, should this be your model at home. Carers don’t judge – they love. Be that rock for them, bring them into the fold, and watch as they respond to that solid foundation you are able to provide.

Nutrition: A Healthy Diet Is an Absolute MUST

It goes without saying that every person on earth needs a healthy diet to thrive. As a carer in Northern Ireland, you might want to research exactly what our nutritional needs are. The government portal offers “The Eatwell Guide” where you can learn exactly what constitutes good nutrition.

We all learned our basic food groups in school, but with technology and modern medicine, many advances have been made in understanding exactly what our bodies need to be strong and healthy. Although the groups may look the same, some have changed significantly over the years, so do keep that in mind and keep up to date!

Activity: Observe a Healthy Balance of Work, Play, and Rest

Perhaps we should address this to you as well as for the children in your care. Everyone needs a healthy balance of work, play, and rest. Omit any of those and watch how quickly your emotional and physical health begin to suffer. Just as you want the children in your care to have a bit of fun activity after school each day and in the summer months, you also keep them on a sleep schedule because you know just how important rest is for growing bodies.

This goes for you too! Family outings are always a wonderful way to unwind and have a good time. It also gives you a chance to learn a bit more about the children in your care. You can tell a lot about young people simply by observing them at play! With that said, a bit of spontaneity goes a very long way as well. There must be some sort of adventure out there waiting to be experienced. What kind of surprise can you spring on them today?

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