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Antibullying Week 2022 – Encouraging children to ‘Reach Out’ for help  

This week is the Anti-Bullying Alliance Antibullying Week. This year the theme is ‘reach out’ and the aim is to encourage children to reach out whenever bullying occurs. Whether a child is being bullied or has witnessed someone else be bullied, this week we want to empower them to reach out for help and support.

A study in 2018 found that 65% of children questioned told someone when they were being bullied, but 35% never told anyone what they were going through. This Antibullying Week, children are being encouraged to reach out for help and to understand that bullying should never be ignored. Whether it be a teacher, parent, carer or other trusted adult, children should always feel like they have someone to turn to.

Consequences of bullying

When bullying is left to occur, the consequences to victims can be devastating. Bullying is known to lead to:

• Sadness, depression, and anxiety

• Low self-esteem

• Social isolation

• Self-harm

• Suicidal thoughts and feelings

Stamping out bullying completely is not easy, but it possible to educate children on the importance of kindness and empowering them to seek help if it is needed. 42% of the children participating in the study who said they did not report their bullies, said they did so through fear of being called a snitch. It is our job as trusted adults to let children know that we are there for them and will help them if they are being bullied.

Anti-bullying training for foster carers

It can be difficult to know what to do if a child in your care is being bullied, and therefore we encourage all our foster carers to complete the anti-bullying training that we offer in our foster carer hub training bundle. Completion of this training is not mandatory, but we would encourage all our foster carers to complete the course.

The anti-bullying course in the training hub covers several topics, including:

  • Bullying Facts and Stats
  • The Impact of Bullying
  • Types of bullying
  • Signs of bullying
  • How to stop bullying
  • Helping victims

The sad truth is that while anyone can be bullied, children in care are more vulnerable to being picked on and teased. Bullies look for something that makes a child different and use that as ammunition for their bullying. Being in foster care can make children stand out and become a target for bullies. If you are concerned that a child in your care may be being bullied, it is important that you speak with their teacher and lean on your social worker for advice and support.

There are several helplines available for anyone to call if they need advice and support. The Anti-Bullying Alliance have the details of several organisations that are there to support children, as well as the families and carers of young people who are being bullied.

This Antibullying Week, spend some time with the children in your care talking about bullying and explaining the importance of reaching out for help. And finally, if you are thinking about fostering with us, we hope you will take the Antibullying training course provided in our training bundle and learn how to best support the children in your care.

fostering

Foster with us!

Are you ready to start your fostering journey? If you want to become a foster carer, don’t hesitate to contact our West Midlands independent fostering agency. We can be contacted on 0800 524 4797 or you can send an email to admin@focusfostercare.com. If you want to do a little more research first, our blog is bursting with information. Read our Meet The Team series to get to know all of the team here at Focus Foster Care. We also have several interviews with foster carers old and new, full of real-life insights into life as a foster carer. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. We look forward to hearing from you soon.