101 Foster Care Tips: Encouraging Hobbies & Interests
Without doubt, hobbies and other creative play activities are critical to the development of all children and young people, regardless of whether they’re in foster care or not.
Appropriate hobbies and interests can be extremely healthy in a number of different ways. For example, they allow young people to express themselves, achieve a set of goals and overcome potential challenges and problems.
Not only can such hobbies lead to lifelong interests and even potential career paths, but more importantly they provide children and young people with elements of self-discipline and self-discovery that can be carried forward throughout their lives.
This is especially true for those children who find themselves in the care of loving foster parents, as the skills and behaviours gained through creative activities often has a profound impact on their development, as well as the wider fostering relationship.
Therefore, as a foster parent being able to understand the value and significance of playing in a sports team or learning a musical instrument, for example, is a hugely important step. However, you must also look to ensure foster children continue partaking in such activities by constantly supporting, encouraging and providing any further opportunities for them.
At Perpetual Fostering, we actively pursue this level of support within our fostering community to help create and maintain happy fostering placements. We even go as far as saying the progress and development of all children and young people is one of our top priorities, as Joanne explains.
“Join in – it’s fun and will keep you fit but most importantly it will give you a lot to talk about. Make good use of local community based sports activities. They are good for keeping fit and making new friends.”
The view of our foster carers…
“Encourage them to try lots of things and find their own way. It could be that they like swimming, bikes or horse riding – it really depends on the child. You need to tailor your activities to the individual.” – Alison
“We had a teenager who joined a wrestling club. It gave him plenty of exercise, helped him socialise and also taught him discipline! We found that he would always listen to the instructor and didn’t mess around – like he often did at school. He also got lots of praise when he did well and he loved it.” – Cathie
“Young people are active people and idle hands get into trouble, so we encourage sports and hobbies. We have lots of fields here – one of my grown up children used to do motocross, and one of our boys showed an interest in it. To let him do it required a risk assessment but it was well worth it as it makes him happy and keeps him busy – when he’s not riding his bike, he’s fixing it.” – Elaine G
“You can’t force them to do things, you just have to give them choices and let them decide what they would like to do.” – Cathryn
We all know how rewarding and enriching hobbies can be, but the same goes for fostering too. Being able to provide a child with a happy, healthy and safe place for them to develop is one of the most heart-warming acts anyone could ever possibly do.
Interested? Whether you’re looking to discover more about finding suitable hobbies for foster children, or perhaps you would love to speak with a friendly and experienced member of our team, you can reach us on 0845 074 0076.