As we come out of lock down and continue to manage the ongoing implication of Covid we have been thinking about what might be learnt from this experience. As a provider we have been pleased how well received working on Zoom has been, delivering support sessions to Foster Carers and Training events across the sector can be more responsive and flexible using this medium.
At the beginning of lockdown there was a lot of anxiety expressed at a national level about how foster carers would manage with having traumatised children at home most of the time. What has been interesting subsequently in discussion with National leads and providers is that the general sense is that Foster Carers and children and young people have managed pretty well. The ideas that have been shared are that:
- Children are spending more time at home with carers involved in family activities such as baking, art and crafts and exercise. Carers often report that they feel closer to their child and they seem more settled
- Children do not have to go to school which is a struggle for many looked after children who have been relieved of the academic and social pressures of education
- Children do not have so many meetings and visits which can sometime be disruptive or worrisome. They also feel safer doing such meetings virtually as they have more control and there is less perceived risk
I would add this is not across the board and that older adolescents in particular have struggled because they naturally should be forging their own relationships and interests outside of the home. I am curious to see how this experience may inform practice as we go forward.
Dr Jane Herd, Orb8 CEO