By the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Identify foods that meet the essential nutritional needs of a child or young person
  • Describe important personal and household hygiene routines
  • Identify and know how to appropriately respond to common childhood conditions
  • Describe some behavioural and emotional aspects of common mental health disorders
  • Identify appropriate resources needed when caring for a child or young person with a mental health disorder or a disabilitity

The first session will lead carers to become more familiar with the basics of nutrition when preparing a balanced and healthy diet for the children and young people in their care. The intent of this session is to guide carers to make links in identifying and using food groups as a way of classifying foods according to the nutrients they provide. It is also important for carers to identify reasons why a child in their care appears to have strong food preferences and how the carer may respond appropriately to these children and young people

The second session is in two parts. It will lead carers to become more familiar with the importance of hygiene which includes the many practices that help both carers and children in care be and stay healthy. Principles of hygiene should be an incorporated part of everyday life and this session will assist carers in how they can encourage the way in which children and young people approach personal hygiene. The session will also look at common childhood conditions that may confront carers at any time. It is important carers are aware of how to respond to the many common childhood illnesses which may include following simple health procedures such as giving medication and / or minimising the risk of spreading the condition to others. This session also assists carers to clarify between guardianship and custody responsibilities regarding health issues.

Carers need to have an understanding of mental health to ensure that they can make an informed decision when asked to care for a child or young person with a mental health issue and are appropriately prepared to care for these children and young people. The third session allows carers to explore and understand what is different about a mental health disorder and what sort of factors can indicate whether a child they are dealing with may have a mental health disorder. It will give carers an idea of what sort of behaviours these children and young people may present with, and what additional supports they may need.

The last session discusses that children and young people with disabilities need more specialised care than those without and this depends on the type of disability they have and the severity. This session allows carers to explore an understanding of disabilities to ensure that they are able to appropriately care for these children and young people. This session will also provide carers with an opportunity to discuss useful local resources when dealing with a child or young person with a disability or mental health issue.

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