At Caritas Care we are passionate about supporting children and young people in care with foster carers and their families and giving them the support they need when they need it most. However, 2020 has brought additional challenges, so we, ‘raised the bar’ on our support when COVID 19 brought it’s ‘unforeseen obstacles’; for example; when families lost the support networks they often relied on due to the lockdown. As always, we have risen to these challenges with the traits we believe we excel at most; kindness, compassion and thoughtfulness, and together, with a dedicated team we were committed to making sure that all our foster children and families remained settled.
“Thank you for your care, understanding and support, particularly during the pandemic. It really has been a huge help for the children and me.” (E, foster carer, July 2020)
Caritas Care; a thoughtful, kind and understanding Charity…
The thoughtful acts of kindness, support and understanding from our team of professionals made it possible for foster children and families to carry on with the routine’s children need; and consequently, relied on during a lockdown. This a massive support to our fostering families and the community as a whole.
“Thank you for helping take us ‘to and from’ school during the lockdown.” (children in placement T-14; J-11 and M-8, July 2020)
Helping on the school runs; keeping things ‘normal!’
For many families, lockdown brought challenges, and consequently, challenges meant additional support was needed. Typically, many fostering families would have a support network to help them in their fostering tasks. However, lockdown meant that many people in their support networks were either self-isolating or were unable to offer this support. As a result, the support network families relied on to get children ‘to and from school’ was at risk of being lost and a danger that the children would not have the ‘everyday routines’ which were vital for them to stay settled.
Keeping the structure that children need…
Many children in care rely on structure; and many children ‘don’t do change’ because often, these children could have suffered ‘significant change’ beforehand. Therefore, any further change could have been potentially devastating for these childre. This is where our Fostering team stepped in; their generosity of time and selflessness meant the children were able to go to school in a routine with minimal disruption. Consequently, for many foster carers, they were a Gods send; and for the children; everything was normal, and they remained settled.
“I am so grateful for your support and care and the sacrifices you’ve made, particularly since the pandemic came along.” (N, foster carer, Nov 2020)
We are proud to have been supporting children and young people in their communities for decades. The quality of service we strive to provide reflects from the fantastic support we offer to children; this support is admired and recognised by the partner agencies we work alongside.
“I just wanted to share my thanks for all that you are doing to support the children; and how pro-active you and your agency have been in general. I always feel confident when placing children with Caritas.” (Local Authority Social Worker April 2020).
Our foster carers have regular training and ‘Outstanding support’, and they are vocal in their praise for the fostering charity they proudly represent. This praise, reflected by members of the fostering family and their children is unique. Children from ‘Caritas Care fostering families’ are often involved in the training process. They share their experiences of being a part of a ‘fostering family’ and subsequently; show how fostering and Caritas Care has enriched their own lives as children.
“Just received my foster care fortnight thank you card and gift in the post. Ahhh well thank you to Caritas for being the best agency and you for being the best supporting social worker! So lovely!”
“Thanks for the time you gave to make the virtual training sessions happen. I found them helpful. Please pass on our thanks to the young person and foster carer for sharing their stories with us. It was lovely to hear from them.” (participant at skills to foster training, October 2020).
And most importantly; thank you from the children…
“We just wanted to say a huge thank for the lovely and kind gesture for ‘sons and daughter’s’ month.” (D and M, birth children aged 10 and 12, Oct 2020)
Caritas Care is a Not for Profit fostering charity with a family feel. We are a charity who are open, honest and who have a sense of pride in what we do. We offer our services with a sense of fun and enjoyment to the children we care for and the children of our fostering families. Together, we have fun-filled family days of activities and supported by a team of professionals who pride ourselves in truly ‘understanding children’.
Caritas Care takes time to understand children…
This understanding of children; encompassed with a dedication to ‘making a difference’ to children’s lives, is achieved by ‘taking time’ to understand children. Taking time with children makes them feel that they too have a ‘sense of belonging’; and often this could be the first time a child has ever felt this. As a result; the tenderness of care, ‘taking time’ and not rushing children; shows why we are rated by Ofsted as an ‘Outstanding‘ fostering Charity.
“Thank you for the fun times, getting to know us and taking us out.” (children in foster placement – H, 8; K,10, and P, 12, Aug 2020)
We are proud of the relationships we have with our foster carers and their families, and it would take more than a pandemic to beat us! We have worked hard so that children have had as little impact as possible from COVID 19. Children’s futures rely on us adapting positively to changes. Therefore, the commitment of our foster carers and our team gives children the stability they need, together with continuing opportunities and chances in life they deserve.