Fostering Compassion

Fostering Compassion

At a glance

Causes

  • Animals / wildlife
  • Children / families
  • Education

Other details

Geographical remit: 
National - Scotland

Objectives

Fostering Compassion is a humane education project for children in Foster Care and Kinship Care who may be showing worrying behaviour towards animals or be struggling with compassion and empathy in general.  Through our workshops and activities we share the stories of rescued domestic and wild animals in such a way that the children draw parallels between their circumstances and those of the animals.  This helps the children see animals as sentient beings  who can share similar emotions to them.  Through sharing the stories of the animals, the children gain a greater understanding of their own circumstances and this often provides a platform for the children to open up about their own abuse and neglect.

Children who have attended our activities have shown good engagement in learning, increased feelings of self esteem, self worth and self confidence, a better understanding of their emotions and behaviour and improved compassion and empathy.  Each child has shown an increased sense of empowerment - understanding that their actions and attitudes can make a difference.

Activities

We hold a wide variety of workshops and activities and are introducing new ones all the time as demand for our service increases.  We share the stories of rescued dogs, donkeys, cats, horses, ponies and bears to name a few.  The children learn how many of these animals had not been looked after properly and often had to change homes having suffered abuse and neglect.  By sharing the animals’ stories it often encourages the children to talk about their own circumstances, letting them know they are not alone.

We bring together children and carers in similar circumstances providing a support network for carers and a safe place for children to meet others in similar situations, giving them a feeling of ‘belonging’.

We team up with local vets including the Links Veterinary Group and the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies  who host special ‘Be a Vet for the Day’ workshops teaching the children all about caring for animals, understanding an animals body language and responsible pet ownership.

We also run nature themed workshops including ‘Magic of Nature’ and ‘Trees and Bees - Being a Friend to Nature’ where the children learn how connected we all are to nature and the importance of looking after our environment.

We have a Storytelling and Reading with Dogs workshop - a firm favourite with the children - building their confidence and self esteem, especially for reading aloud at school - the dogs providing a non judgemental audience.

Our workshops also include craft activities to help improve dexterity and creativity and develop coping mechanisms that can be continued at home.

Our workshops provide tools and techniques to help the children deal with difficult emotions, which can be continued at home by both child and carer. Our new emotions tree gives the children an opportunity to express their feelings at the end of each workshop.

Fostering Compassion allows children in care to come together with other children in similar circumstances providing an opportunity for the children to thrive, gain confidence and self esteem.

A place where they can meet other children in a similar position, have fun, achieve a sense of identity, or come together with separated siblings on neutral ground.

It allows carers to meet and make friends finding a network of support in the process.  Our activities let the children and carers bond as a new family unit.

No current opportunities

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