FOSTERING COMMUNITY BLOG
We all know how important health and wellness are for a child's development. And it's even more vital for our community to collectively invest in social, emotional and physical well-being of children in foster care.
Foster youth have experienced abuse, neglect and separation from parents, as well as frequent placement changes and instability within the foster care system. As a result, many struggle with low self-esteem, managing stress, regulating their emotions and making good decisions.
One way to help foster youth work these struggles is to encourage routine and habits that maximizes their physical health. According to the Youth Transitions Funders Group,
"Maximizing physical health begins early in life, as youth are exposed to and encouraged to participate in a wide rage of healthy activities that reflect their interests and capabilities. As they grow and develop, young people need information about all aspects of physical health, including nutrition, exercise and fitness, disease prevention, and sexual and reproductive health. This knowledge will increase the likelihood that youth and young adults will continue to engage in healthy behaviors—including regular exercise—well into adulthood, and will be proactive in addressing and managing their own health care needs."
So how can the community - including foster parents, mentors, Love Box Leaders, teachers, friends, neighbors, etc - help help children in foster care (and any child, for that matter!) learn about and maximize their physical health? Here are a few ideas:
🤸🏼♂️ Expose them especially ones that align with their capabilities and peek their specific interests. Go on an adventure hike, sign them up for an organized sport, or help them learn their way around a kitchen while teaching the importance of healthy foods and nutrition.
🤸🏼♂️ Make physical activity part of your time together - go on walks, play an active game, explore the outdoors. Anything that gets their bodies moving and blood flowing.
🤸🏼♂️ Talk with them about the many life-long benefits of caring for their health, and how it's never too early to adopt healthy habits.
🤸🏼♂️ Set a positive example by leading an active lifestyle yourself!
Speaking of healthy activities... we are just two days out from the start of our virtual fundraiser, Race for Wings!
It's not too late to sign up so that this weekend's workout DIRECTLY impacts Houston's children and families in foster care. Visit www.houangels.org/raceforwings to register now!
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