Few foster carers or adoptive parents realise the benefits that yoga and related mind/body approaches can unlock for them and their families.
In this positive book Andrea Warman uses her vast experience of work in fostering and adoption to identify the areas of life that many families struggle with and, in partnership with yoga expert Liz Lark and nutritional therapist Alli Godbold, presents everyday, tried and tested strategies to help improve your family life - whether it's encouraging a calm household, improving sleep or simply finding some personal space. The book describes easy-to-follow mindfulness exercises and yoga poses to suit your needs and the length of time you have to spare, whether you are looking for energy and strength or relaxation and calm. It also shares healthy tips, ideas and recipes - many coming from carers Andrea has met over the years. The authors
also reveal how, through shared confidence-building activities like cooking and gardening, families can not only enjoy spending relaxing time together but help children to develop the life skills they need for a healthy future.
Caring with Vitality is an inspiring, practical, accessible read for foster and adoptive families, and can also be used by agencies and related professionals providing support for parents or carers.
Dr Andrea Warman is a qualified children and families social worker who completed a MSc and PhD in Social Anthropology, and worked for a leading Adoption and Fostering charity. She led on projects involving carers and looked after children, and authored a number of publications on the role food plays in good fostering practice.
More recently, she has focused on how we support foster carers and adopters, and with Liz Lark has piloted the use of yoga, meditation and related approaches.
Yes I've lost weight. I'm moving differently. Lighter...But it's more than that. I can't really put my finger on it. All I know is that I've just calmed down and chilled out. Overall I'm just feeling better in myself despite everything that's still going on around me.
Carole, foster carer
And now with the yoga it's something else I have. Another tool if you like. It can calm me, make me take a bit of a step back, let the frustrations go about things I can't change. But someone else might use it differently. That's OK because in fostering you have to find your own way - and this will help you find it.
Jake, foster carer
My work over the years has brought me into contact with many carers and the children and young people they look after. I know that the quality of these relationships is what really makes a difference, and if we want to improve life chances then we must ensure that our carers are in good health, and have the energy they need to do this well. Caring with Vitality offers an innovative approach, and I am sure it will inspire and motivate carers and their families to take good care of themselves.
The Earl of Listowel, Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Children and Young People in Care and Leaving Care and Patron of the Who Cares? Trust
Having been a foster carer for 15 years, and running my own agency for the past nine, I have a real understanding of the demands of being a good carer. I know that to keep going and provide what children need we must value and support foster carers and adopters. So I'm delighted to see this exciting book - with plenty of new ideas and strategies that I can share. It's really a breath of fresh air, much needed - and I'll be trying some of this myself!
Olivia Osei-Asibey, Executive Director of Sankofa Care Fostering & Adoption Services
A book like this which helps us to support carers and provide the best possible care for looked after children is so welcome. I know it will inspire and encourage our carers to keep on doing the great work they do.
Jo Hill, Interim Service Manager Business Strategy, Fostering and Placements, Children's Social Care, London Borough of Lewisham
I found it refreshing for the authors to have an understanding of the many varied stresses and strains associated with caring for children with complex needs. They combine this understanding with a frankness of approach that enables you to buy into their ways to practically improve your day to day quality of life with many quick and easy wins.
Foster Care - Victoria Lewis