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Covid 19 Lockdown Blog

Saturday 18.07.2020

Covid 19 Lockdown has  been a time when adapting to additional  challenges and learning new skills has certainly come to the fore, but it’s also provided opportunities to reflect and regroup.

It’s Saturday evening – approaching 8pm and I have made myself vacate the kitchen so that our 17 year old middle foster child Rhiannon ( name changed ) could access it uninterrupted to finalise preparations for the “outdoor pizzas”   that she and three friends are about to cook on the Barbecue! 

This is to celebrate a friend’s missed 18th Birthday that took place during the height of the Lockdown. It was a huge surprise and Elaine ( her friend )  had tears in her eyes when she walked into the garden, decked with balloons, a pile of special presents, cut flowers and two amazing hand made cakes. The scene is not one I would have imagined when she was 11 years old. We are so proud of the person that Rhiannon has become, a stark contrast from the terrified child who came to us almost 7 years ago.

It is amazing the difference that nurture, consistency and security can make in a relatively short period – it isn’t rocket science – but it is what every child deserves !

Rhiannon has discovered baking during Lockdown and in this she has found a new outlet for her incredible artistic ability. She is a straight A student whose Art work at GCSE was simply outstanding. She is a quite a tough, who had been the mum to three other siblings when at home . Her two brothers are still with us, one now on staying put attends a local University . Rhiannon plans to move away in approx six weeks to study on one of the more a challenging degree courses.

I finally left the kitchen – popped in the shower and then have that “ solo cup of tea” that so many foster carers crave,  while my husband went out on a bike ride with another of our young people. I actually reflected that this is the first thing I have really done just for me today !  Ours is a very busy fostering household – it’s how we like it to be , but with the onset of Covid 19 Lockdown it moved to new heights as we took on the care package for my husband’s mother – who is approaching 90.

She is lovely – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. She provides me with a daily bolt-hole – a different four walls . She needs the full range of personal care each morning – all meals prepared, housework and admin. We have been her main carers for years- but with the support of a Care Package which we chose to cease just before we went into lockdown.

I reflected fostering has been very different since 20th March 2020. This week we had our first Group Supervision on TEAMS .

To be honest it was a two hour session that didn’t really achieve very much. So many carers ( us included ) had technical issues because we were using the Web Format instead of the App – which meant we could hear but had no microphone.

I really felt for our Supervising Social Worker as she needed to take urgent calls in relation to a crisis that was ongoing during the meeting. What came through loud and clear from other carers was that we are all muddling through, we are in the main not stressing and doing ok. It seems we are a group of optimists who have done our best to stay upbeat and this has had a pretty positive impact on those around us. 

For us, as a family, the lockdown has given an opportunity for us to re- consolidate as a family – to spend time together without the business of having to meet everyone’s individual timetable  and needs. June 2018 – December 2019 was a real tough time for us with lots of personal loss and to stop and reflect was no bad thing.

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