Other ways you can create a positive care environment
Encourage self determination
Self-determination is having some choice and control. Self-determination is especially important for children in out of home care. Children, including those with disabilities, need opportunities to express their opinions, have their thoughts and views considered, and be included in decisions about their life and care.
As well as formal decision making through case planning children need choices on a daily basis within their stage of development. This could include meal choices, choices about bedroom set up, clothing, activities and leisure, and choices about how problems are solved.
Use positive communication
A positive and caring environment means an environment that builds on a child’s strengths and promotes their well-being. Harsh punishment or discipline, humiliation and or rejection of the child are never acceptable and can be very harmful for children in care who have all experienced pain, grief and loss.
Understand and avoid restrictive and prohibited practices
It is never OK to use any form of discipline that involves smacking, slapping, and shouting, blaming, shaming or ridiculing the child in your care.
Other things that will help create a positive care environment include
- Include children in your family
- Create a calm, safe home environment
- Be a positive role model – one of the best ways to show what your expectations are
- Promote good communication, take time to listen and ask questions
- Explain household routines and expectations - be flexible - never expect a child to do something they are not able to do
- Listen and acknowledge children’s feelings – ask them what would make them feel better
- Use positive messages – tell the child when you are pleased with something they have done
- Focus on the child’s strengths and efforts not behaviour – focus on personality and talents
- Encourage participation in the community, help children join a sport or hobby and make friends
- Notice and encourage good behaviour
- Encourage children to learn new skills
- Inform children of unexpected changes to routines