A message from our founders, Davina and Gary Cox
It has been an extraordinary couple of weeks so Davina and I thought we should update you about how Young People at Heart have adapted to cope in these new and uncertain times.
Firstly, and most importantly, we are immensely grateful to our staff teams and foster carers for continuing to support our young people. A number have been self-isolating and are either unwell or have the worry of household or family members displaying symptoms of the virus. However, without fail, all our foster carers are continuing to provide a loving and nurturing environment for the young people in their care, supported by our staff teams.
We had spent the two weeks before lockdown preparing and testing our contingency plan. In the week before lockdown we moved to our staff team working from home. We have stayed in contact with our foster carers, young people, staff team, panel members and providers throughout this past two weeks via mobile phone and video conferencing.
We have already held the following via video conference:
- Placement planning meetings
- A Fostering Panel meeting
- A Panel Chair’s meeting
- Two training courses for our foster carers
- Staff team meetings
- Children Looked After reviews
- Direct work and activities with our young people
Next week we will hold our first foster carer coffee morning over video. Also, our team of Social Work Assistants are working together to identify online activities and resources for foster carers and young people. We communicate these via email and in our newly expanded national, closed Facebook group. We are also exploring resources to support our young people with their schoolwork during the school closure.
We are continuing to recruit foster carers. We can conduct initial visits and assessments via video, and will be holding our first Skills to Foster training video conference in April.
Davina and I will continue to provide updates via this website, and on our open Young People at Heart Facebook page. We have a ‘contact us’ link on the website if you have any comments or questions.
Finally, our thoughts are with you and your loved ones, and thank you for having young people at the heart of everything you do.
Davina and Gary Cox