Foreword - 8th April 2020
Most of you may have seen in the news yesterday and this morning, that the projected 3-week lockdown will now be extended, with a date as to when, yet to be determined. Many of us were expecting this, but the reality of it setting in, and the unknown duration of this extension, may cause some additional cause for concern. The reality is the government needs more time to understand how the implemented measures are effectively “flattening the curve”.
The good news is that everybody to a household has been dealing with the circumstances thrust upon us admirably, but the country needs more time. And so, we must all, as reaffirmed by the Queen, continue to come together to help others. As we all have adjusted to and become more familiar with the new normal, we at Affinity have been working hard to enhance our practice to benefit you and your families. We are now providing virtual support groups for our foster carers, online training has recommenced with pertinent topics for this time, online education provision has been collated and shared, our additional financial support per household offer remains open, and young people are still having their Voices heard through the Voices group. We will continue to review what we do to support. It may seem like this pandemic is having no end, but there are promising early signs in the government’s lockdown strategy, and as our Queen said at the weekend -
"We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again."
I very much look forward to seeing you all when we can. And a good coffee, I miss a good coffee.
Andy Robins, Assistant Director.
Through Vicky’s hard work accumulating resources, you should have seen an email yesterday regarding our online resources for young people, by Key Stage and school year group. If you have missed it, this is a very useful go-to set of files that could prove very useful to both our foster carers and young people. These resources are saved on the Google Drive, and more instructions can be found on the email from Izzy yesterday, 7th April.
If you have any problems in accessing them, please do let Joanie or Izzy know asap.
Virtual support and young people groups
This week has seen the roll out of virtual support groups for foster carers on a voluntary basis. We have had some great feedback from these already regarding how you are all coping and sharing ideas, so please do make the time to attend, if you can. Please get in contact with your Supervising Social Worker for more information. Yesterday also saw our first virtual meeting for our young people’s Voices group, which also went very well, and we plan to have more so stay tuned.
Foster Carers handbook
Our new Foster Carer Handbook is now available on the website portal as promised last week. Please have a look when you the time, as this gives updated guidance on practices and policies.
We have now emailed you all with our new online training courses, namely –
• Effective Home Working
• Isolation Adult Well-Being
• Depression and Suicide
These are all provided by the Foster Care Training Hub and take up on the courses has so far been good. If you haven’t had a chance to sign on yet, please do. Any problems please let Karen know.
Our social media continues to remain open and providing potentially very useful content, including sites and links for educational matter and interesting activities during this time, on our Instagram page and Facebook page. We are also, and will be providing more, useful blogs with similarly useful content and pieces to read of interest, so stay connected and tuned in!