In these difficult times, we are fortunate to have a dedicated staff team supporting our foster carers and young people. Sometimes, the extent of their dedication surprises even us.
In March, our Placements Officer Estelle Cashin travelled to Sydney, Australia to attend her nephew’s wedding. While she was there, the Coronavirus outbreak caused havoc with air travel arrangements. Estelle’s flight home was cancelled and she was stranded in Australia.
Estelle contacted one of our founders, Gary Cox, and suggested that she could work from Australia, a mere 10,556 miles away, until she could return home. In two days we implemented a plan for Estelle to securely access referral emails and consider potential matches to our foster carer families. Having identified a potential match and consulted with the team here in the UK, Estelle hands over the referral to the UK team to follow through. Yesterday was the first day we had implemented this and Estelle identified a good match for two siblings. They moved into the foster carers’ home last night.
Gary said that Estelle’s commitment to the organisation was exceptional. He pointed out that working 9am-5pm UK time meant Estelle was currently working between 7pm and 3am Sydney time. Gary also thanked Samantha Frith (Administrator) and Joanne Atkinson (Supervising Social Worker) from our Yorkshire office team. They embraced this temporary way of working and liaised with the Local Authority to ensure the placement was made.
Gary added that Young People at Heart were fortunate to have so many excellent team members choosing to join our not-for-profit fostering organisation. Estelle joined us in February 2019 from PICS, a venture capital backed foster care group. There, she was Placements Team Leader for Fosterplus, Orange Grove, ISP, and Clifford House.
Well done, Estelle!