Six young people from our Milton Keynes and Chesham fostering centres attended the Animal Action Day at RSPCA Blackberry Farm
The programme is part of the RSPCA’s ambitious new programme called Generation Kind, eight projects which focus on educating young people from all backgrounds about animal welfare and aims to reach two million children by 2030.
Animal Action Day was a one-day session for children aged 5-14years who are in care, as well as their carers and siblings.
Elaine Davis, RSPCA Regional Prevention and Education Adviser who is co-ordinating the projects, said: “Many foster carers have pets in their homes and we have frequent requests for educational resources about animals from foster agencies.
“We feel there is a need to run educational activities for children to encourage positive behaviour around animals and to keep them safe around them. Occasionally, a child may display behaviour which scares or hurts an animal in the home.
“If a foster carer is worried about their animals, they may ask for the child to be moved to another placement - which can be disruptive and unsettling for a child. Avoiding these problems in the first place means that children can stay in safe and loving placements, learn about compassion towards animals and the animals stay safe too.”
During the day, the children - in small groups - are taught about animal welfare needs and feelings, and are given positive examples of how to interact with animals through different learning activities.
Pets can have a profoundly positive and therapeutic effect on children in care. For many children, pets can offer that unconditional friendship that a child desires, they may also be the one constant in a world where everything else may change. However, it's important that young people know how to positively and safely interact with them to maintain harmony in the foster home.
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