4 and Above
Caring for Cat

In the story, Cat has to go away for a while and stay with strangers and is scared. But it turns out it wasn’t so bad after all. After a short time she is reunited with her Dad.

Aims of this story

In this story, you will look at how children may be seen by others and how they themselves want to be seen. You will also look at how children feel when they are away from home and from the people they know, and what they might need from their friends.

Have a chat with your child and discuss any questions or concerns they may have.

Key Messages

  • Going into care can be very scary
  • Being in care isn’t bad, and doesn’t mean that a child has been bad either
  • Showing empathy to someone is important
  • Routine for a new Looked After Child (LAC) is very important - same school, home comforts, bedtime etc
  • A LAC child needs someone that they can trust and talk to
  • A family is about love, tolerance, and respect, not just biology
  • You don’t always have to talk, just being there for someone is sometimes enough

Discuss with your child:

That you have just looked at how Cat felt when she had to spend time away from her Dad. The feelings she experienced are very common to those talked about by children who have been through similar situations.

Ask your child:

  • What can they tell you about the way Cat said she felt?
  • Why might she have felt this way?

Discuss that at first she may have felt: ‘scared’, ‘nervous’, ‘sad’ and ‘worried’.

Essentially, she felt this way because she was taken away from what she knew, and the people she knew, and this caused her anxiety.

Anxiety is ‘a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome’. The easiest way we think you can describe this is ‘anxiety is feeling a bit scared or nervous about doing things that we might not feel confident in doing’.

But once Cat had overcome the anxiety, she felt: ‘content’, ‘supported’ and ‘happy’.

The change in her feelings was due to the support and empathy she received, and by keeping some of the routine of her day-to-day life.

Explain to your child:

You have looked at how Cat felt in the story about being placed with a new family. You looked at what Cat did to try and make herself feel as ‘safe’ as was possible, and how Mrs Swan and the Rabbit family helped her with this.

The way Mrs Swan and the Rabbit family treated Cat made what could have been a terrible experience into something that Cat now remembers with good memories.

So how could we help and support someone who might be going through a tough time, just like Cat was?

Show your child the ‘Away from home scenario resource sheet’ and go through each scenario with your child and ask them, how could they help and support the character?

Activity: Away from home scenario

If your child is struggling, ask them if they need your help.

Discuss with your child:

If anyone, child or adult, feels upset, scared, anxious or anything apart from happy, then support from a friend or family member is very important to them.

There is something called empathy that you will now look at. It is when we can show someone our kindness, especially if they are having a tough time, to make them understand that they are not alone, and we understand how they are feeling. We are a friend, and we are there to help them.

As a good friend this might also mean we need to tell someone if we think a friend might need help, even if that friend says they don’t. If you ever feel a friend needs your support, then also tell an adult you trust, and they can help too.

Ask your child:

If you were an emoji, how would you look?

You can use the My emoji sheet or a blank piece of paper, draw an emoji that describes and shows who you are. This might be an emoji that you WANT to be, or a person that you would like to be more like from now on.

Activity: My emoji

Discuss with your child:

In the story, we looked at how Cat felt when she had to spend time away from Dad. She was, as I think anyone would be, nervous, scared, anxious and left wondering what on earth was going on!

But, when she got to the Rabbit family, they made her feel welcome, and they showed her how friendly they were.

Give your child the ‘being a good friend sheet’ and ask them to complete it, help your child if you see them struggling.

When they have completed this, ask your child to draw a picture on the poster and write how they could be a good friend, as represented in their picture.

Activity: Being a good friend

Caring for Cat Quiz

Take our quiz to see what you have learnt from this story!

Togetherness. Talking. Having Fun.