The Coronavirus pandemic has meant that we’ve had to adjust the way we live our lives. We’ve had to find new ways of working, keeping in touch with loved ones and educating our children and young people. So, as a foster carer during the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s likely this time has been challenging for both you and the child in your care.
That’s why we want to reiterate that we’re here to help. Here at Capstone Foster Care, we’re dedicated to supporting our foster carers during the pandemic. Whether the family is self-isolating, whether we’re undergoing another national lockdown, or whether you’re debating on who to see and in what environment, our tips and advice can help guide you through this. However, for detailed guidance on the rules and restrictions, please visit the GOV.uk website.
One of the most important pieces of advice – keep talking. Mental health has always been a priority for us when supporting our foster carers – but this topic has become much more prevalent in the current times. More and more people need support, so it’s important for you to remember you can lean on the team here at Capstone for fostering support. Our team are on hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure you have the best level of care and encouragement.
It’s also important to keep talking to your family and friends during this time. Organise video calls to catch up with them when we are under stricter regulations, and make time to go for a walk in the park with a friend when you have the chance.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that speaking to other foster carers to gain a like-minded insight is vital now more than ever. Having someone to talk to who can understand your situation and offer helpful tips and advice can be so rewarding. At Capstone, we ensure we provide a family-feel agency – providing you with access to a network of other foster carers so you’re able to share your experiences.
One of the hardest challenges any parent across the globe will be experiencing during this pandemic is teaching their children about the virus. Some may be too young to understand what it means and resist the hygiene aspect – but clear education on the topic aimed at the specific age group is important.
Instead of concentrating your education on the severity of the virus and the fatal aspect, make it simple for them to understand with the few steps they need to remember:
This may also be a challenge to contend with if you’re fostering teenagers, as they’re typically more tempted to break the rules to meet friends outside their household. This can be challenging for any parent – but especially for foster parents. Ensure the lines of communication are kept open at all times – and here is where you are advised to lean on your social worker for help during this unprecedented period.
This may be easier said than done, especially if we’re in the midst of a national lockdown with nowhere to go, but ensure that you take some time out for yourself, too. This could be as simple as running a bath, lighting some candles and watching a movie. Alternatively, if you’re fostering with a partner, ensure you both take some time for yourself by going out for walks alone, or meeting up with friends, if allowed.
Don’t feel guilty for wanting this time, either. Caring for a family is a full-time job, as well as fostering a child. It’s normal to need a break now and again, but in a world where we’re unable to come and go as we please, take comfort in the little things. These include having a walk in the sun to the local park, pampering yourself and dedicating some time for self-care, and also sticking to a routine which dedicates some ‘you’ time every few days.
For full details and advice on fostering in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic, please visit GOV.uk. Here, you’ll be able to learn about the support foster carers are receiving, processes regarding respite foster care for families and guidance for self-isolating or ill foster carers.
At Capstone Foster Care, safeguarding children and young people remains at the heart of our values and our focus now and into the future. We are supporting our foster carers through the use of technology, our weekly communications continue and, where face to face is not an option, we are keeping in touch through video conference calls, telephone calls and emails. We are following government guidelines and using technology where appropriate to stay in touch with you at this stage of your journey.
If you’re thinking of fostering, now more than ever, there is a need for new carers to join our family. For more information, learn why you should foster from our guide. Alternatively, get in touch with our helpful team now.