Foster Carer Training and Covid.
Today brought a flurry of emails from the agency training co-ordinator and our Supervising Social Worker. We are being asked to ensure that we keep up to date with our training, even though there will be no face to face sessions for some time to come.
As experienced carers of almost ten years we have covered most of the programme, but there are core elements that we need to re-do on an ongoing basis, sadly first aid and behaviour management and de-escalation techniques are two that need to have participants in the room.
Finding time to do online training in our busy household is going to be tricky – but not impossible! I hope we can find something that is really relevant and useful to us.
I feel as though our learning really has continued through the Lockdown. We recognised that it was important to keep up to date and did this via a weekly newsletter from a National Children’s charity which outlined newly released publications, many of these were in relation to mental health and coronavirus.
I read there of the importance of being available to the young people – As a family we have always eaten our evening meal together ( wherever possible ) and this – along with our lunchtime snack ( often in the garden ) has given us all the opportunity for social time and to discuss “current affairs.” In the early days of lockdown we found that our 3 young people had some raised anxieties which seemed to be as a direct result of the reporting style of media.
The number of deaths has been tragic – but by acknowledging how many people had died per million in the UK it gave some reassurance to the young people. All of us were fully compliant with the guidelines and it was important that the children recognised that this, our home, therefore still offered the same safe, secure environment that it always has.
We recognised the importance of having an outlet for everyone to raise any concerns that they had and in this way we could research and ensure that any misconceptions could be addressed as a team. We were very grateful that our adult daughter chose to return from abroad prior to lockdown. She had already experienced the Lockdown in Asia and had a wealth of very pertinent knowledge to share.
It was also lovely that after two weeks in self-isolation we had additional input and distraction for our conversations. There has been much laughter during lockdown as we have all had time to update each other with our travel adventures, movie preferences, schoolday reflections and myriad of other topics.
There are still some concerns in relation to resuming “normal” life, as all but one of us – who returned to a job in retail, have yet to go into a shop for a period of almost 18 weeks. It has become a strange new world – where the ASDA order is a key highlight of the week and the local delivery drivers are our new best friends !
Jayne Robbins – A Blogging Foster Carer.