It was around this time last year when I last wrote about how we had just started to work from home following government guidance to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Like many people, the kitchen table had initially become my office, however gradually led to the spare room finally being cleared out and turned into a home office – anything to hide from cats that insist on trampling about in front of the camera and meowing loudly when you are trying to be sensible in a Zoom meeting!
It seems all such a long time ago when we started with all the various shades of lockdown, however I am thankful that I am one of the lucky ones that have been able to continue with work, albeit from home. However, like most people, being out of the usual workplace environment has meant that we have had to forego the typical office banter and camaraderie with our work colleagues (except for a short section of the morning meeting to catch up on whatever is being currently binge-watched on Netflix), and it’s not easy but to have the routine of the workday does help. Fortunately, in my role I talk to lots of lovely people that are interested in fostering, which keeps me very busy and remain connected to the outside world 😊
Whilst lots has changed over the last year in terms of a day in the life of a foster carer recruitment officer, the initial process a typical day still starts with a morning team meeting, followed by responding to expressions of interest in becoming a foster carer that can arrive by email, website live-chat, voicemail, and Facebook. We currently have a lot of interest as, due to the lockdowns, people have had lots of time at home and found that they have enjoyed it. They have been able to spend more time with partner and/or children instead of everyone flying in different directions to work, school, sports, social events etc, and looking at ways to keep the positive changes as well as sharing this with vulnerable children and young people locally. However, others who have been home alone for this period, as perhaps their own children are grown up with their own families, have realised how much they missed the sounds and energy of young people in the home.
We have many people that find out more about us at UK Fostering via the blogs and posts that we regularly put on Facebook, and directly to on our website. These are mostly about different types of foster placements that people may not have considered previously considered, such as parent & child fostering (information video available if you are interested 😊). We also have lots of interesting topics that apply to fostering but also families in general, including some with links to resources including websites, downloadable pages, and books for children of all ages. I am a regular contributor to these pages as we try to answer some of the questions that applicants ask about or come up in my discussions with people – Jacqui of all trades, me!
I better get on with my calls and emailing out of information brochures! Today I have a couple interested in fostering who have their own teenagers as well as grandma living in the home. Luckily, we have leaflets specifically for teens whose parents want to foster, and for extended family of those interested in fostering, so I can email them over with the brochure for the whole family to view.
I hope that you are reading this and identified (or not) with some of the comments which prompted you into thinking ‘mmm…maybe it’s time I got in contact to find out more about fostering’. We’d be pleased to hear from you. If you apply now, you are likely to be ready to start fostering later in the summer holidays, and able to share those late summer days with some lovely young people 😊
By Lynsey Dobbs