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Eating Disorders and Foster Care

February 25, 2019 | matt

Family Care is proud to support Eating Disorders Awareness Week which takes place globally from the 25th Feb until the 3rd March.

EDAW (Eating Disorders Awareness Week) is a global awareness event to fight the misunderstandings and dispel the myths associated with eating disorders, putting disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) in the spotlight.

 Commonly, the stereotype associated with eating disorders is that they are not serious illnesses. The EDAW campaign looks to educate, inform and change that perception altogether. Globally, EDAW focuses on the people who have been affected by such disorders, uniting as one to show support for anyone who has been affected no matter what their diagnosis, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, age or background.

 Eating Disorders and Foster Care

Children in foster care may have suffered in the past from physical, emotional or psychological trauma.  For some, this includes the trauma of not having food to eat for long periods of time.  For others, food offers a sense of power and control.

Once a young person is placed in foster care, there continue to be risks to their mental and behavioural health including placement breakdowns, transitions, inadequate mental health services and support.  For these reasons, foster children might be considered ‘more susceptible’.

It’s so crucial that vulnerable children get the right support from well-trained professionals.  Family Care’s support team took specialist mental health training last year which covered a range of complexities including eating disorders.  And our foster carers have access to the foster carer training hub, an online training platform with loads of courses including advanced training on eating disorders.

Spotting Eating Disorder Symptoms

On average, almost 3 years (149 weeks) pass before anyone experiencing eating disorder symptoms will seek help.  On top of this, in a YouGov survey conducted for EDAW, more than one in three people (34%) in the UK could not name any signs or symptoms of eating disorders.

The quicker someone gets the help they need, the more likely they are to make a full and fast recovery.  As well as campaigning to improve the services available, we must raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder and encourage and empower people to take action now – no matter how long their symptoms have been present.

If you think you could be at risk or you know someone who is, check out these tips for Spotting the First Signs of an Eating Disorders

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