I am writing this post as the impacts of isolation from Covid-19 start to settle in Australia. I was planning to write about supporting children in your care, yourselves and each other during this time earlier, but my life/work at home juggle, like many, was very time consuming.
Even though days morphed into each other and work hours seemed to blow out, the girls and I really enjoyed slowing down, spending more time together and making the most of our home space. On an aside, I am also rather worried about how our dog, and all other pets, are going to adjust to less human time!
As we start to ease out of the stricter quarantine, my hope for you is that you are well supported during this time and managed to maintain connections online where possible.
I know there were children that needed to go to school, who were in care and classed as ‘vulnerable’ but were told they couldn’t go. I can’t imagine how this was for those children who needed the stability and predictability of school but also for the carers who had to find ways to work this out on the go.
I also know there were many mixed messages about whether family time should be continued and this caused a lot of confusion and pain for carers, children and families who were hoping to see their family. We followed our agency policy (no face to face) and instead did facetime which went well.
I also know there have been crisis in carer homes and dealing with these has been very challenging for the child, carers and agency.
There has been a real surge in online opportunities to connect, learn and keep children entertained. We also know that high levels of screen time and detrimental in terms of children’s wellbeing (mental and physical) and socialisation. It has been a tricky balancing act for all of us!
As a carer, I found this time really helpful for my foster daughter. She has loved the quieter pace and we have been able to put more focus on some of her additional areas of need. I have seen her grow more confident in many ways. This doesn’t mean it was all smooth sailing! There were many moments of testing/pushing and old patterns emerging. But overall, I believe we all grew as individuals and as a family.
This really is just me checking in with you and wishing you well now and as we transition back to some normality.
How are you journeying through these unprecedented times as a carer? I hope you have found support where you needed it (whether through friends, family or your agency) and have been able to balance your own mental health and wellbeing whilst supporting those in your care.
Some questions to help you check in with children in your care:
- How are you finding all the change?
- Is there anyone you would like to connect with (friends, family) via phone or video?
- What are some things we can do together (use this as a chance to apply ‘special time’ from reparative parenting models which is basically letting a child lead what you do for approximate 10minutes to ½ hour and you just follow)?
Remember, this is also a chance to reflect on what is important to you and your family and make any adjustments to how you were living pre-Covid-19 if that will help you all.
- What have you liked most about this time ?
- What would you like to do when we can go everywhere again?
- Is there anything you would like to reduce or stop doing when this is over?
Wishing you all well,