Covid-19: foster care as a place of safety in challenging times

Safety is a subject on many people’s minds right now and for most of us having a safe haven, a home where we can escape to, has taken on a whole new meaning.

For us as foster care providers, this is always a central theme. Being able to provide safe, nurturing homes, where children and young people can relax and feel ‘at home’, is our main goal and one that informs much of what we do. This begins at the point of recruiting foster carers, ensuring they are able to give a child or young person what they need, through to matching foster carers and children together, with the aim of there being the best possible ‘fit’.

Afterall, “feeling at home” is a combination of so many things and we do our best to bring as many of the right ingredients possible, so that children and young people – however long they are cared for – can enjoy some stability and certainty.

We know that fostering is a contested space and some people struggle to understand how a child being placed away from their birth family can ever be right and in spite of us being a leading provider of foster care, at almost 23 years, we do understand why this is a held opinion. However, something that Covid-19 has highlighted, is how much need there is for safe homes for children and young people, even if only temporarily, whilst families seek what they need to get back on track.

Covid-19 has magnified issues and problems that were already bubbling under the surface. We know that mental health issues have become more prevalent during this time and alongside this, in some areas, there has been an increase of 200% in young people being vulnerable to child sexual exploitation and similar figures for children and young people caught in situations involving domestic violence. The root causes of these challenges are numerous and are often complex but the fact remains that when it comes to child safety, sometimes immediate action needs to be taken.

None of us can provide a ‘quick fix’ solution BUT at Chrysalis Care, we remain committed to providing safe, nurturing environments for children and young people, whether short term or long term, with an investment in contributing to their health and wellbeing.

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