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fostering during the COVID-19 pandemic

asphaleia fully understand that each individual’s personal response to the pandemic will be different. Each carer and child/young person will experience different feelings and concerns, both good and bad. Therefore, whilst asphaleia have implemented new Covid-19 practice policies and procedures overarching our service delivery, we are very much considering each household individually in ways to support them.

At present, visits to the foster carer’s homes will not be made unless it is absolutely vital where there are safeguarding and/or welfare concerns e.g. placement breakdown or a child/ren are not engaging via technology. The challenge is in bringing the two issues together – complying with the Covid-19 health requirements and supporting carers with children for discussion, problem-solving, learning, and support. The typical arrangements for these objectives would be face-to-face meetings in the foster carer’s home or in outside venues, and these are now largely prohibited, however if this has been necessary all parties have been provided with a clear safety plan for all involved e.g. keeping social distancing, hand hygiene, use of PPE.

asphaleia has increased regular contact with our carers and young people using technology, which to date has proven to be successful. We have adapted our methods of working to ensure we continue to work to the ethos that the safeguarding of all is paramount. asphaleia’s fostering team have attended a variety of group forums specifically arranged to cover Covid-19 related information. The y have also received regular updates published by the Government and will continue to monitor these for any relating to our fostering service.

All information received has in turn fed into our practices and policies. asphaleia are also receiving and utilising assistance from Coram BAAF and Ofsted. We understand this is a worrying and challenging situation. For many children uncertainties can bring added stress. Routines have been disrupted which can cause turmoil to children but having to spend time together has in some cases also permitted relationships to grow and thrive.

Foster families have enjoyed establishing new routines and a feeling of security in the home. In our experience with working alongside Covid 19 we have found the most challenging experiences to be supporting education. Some young people have struggled to complete the set tasks. Our carers in these situations have been in regular communication with the schools to find ways of overcoming this. Young people have accepted the restrictions of going out and have been constantly spoken to about their safety and how to stay safe. asphaleia have and will continue to adapt their practice to meet the government guidelines in ensuring safe practice.

We are grateful to all our staff, carers, and young people for their efforts to adapt at this time and look forward to coming together again when it's safe to do so in the future.

Interested in fostering? We are running a virtual Q&A with our fostering manager and an approved carer. Contact us today to register your interest.

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