Foster carers in North Lincolnshire are vital in the care they provide for children and they have received a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for their dedication.
Mick Gibbs, Director of Children and Community Resilience at North Lincolnshire Council, paid tribute to the resilience and resourcefulness of the local fostering community. This includes foster carers, their children and the children in their care.
“I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank foster carers for their dedication and commitment to our children in care,” he said.
The North Lincolnshire fostering community has always been strong and during this time they have shown dedication, resilience and care in what is a unique circumstance. Foster carers have found news ways to support one another, to use their talents and natural caring capacity to look out for one another and the children.
Mick Gibbs also described his pride in the strength shown by the children in their care who have shown immense understanding of the current situation, the need to self-isolate and interact within their households. Their acceptance and positivity will no doubt help them to maximise opportunity into the future.
“Within recent weeks we have all faced unprecedented changes in both our personal and caring roles. We have been asked to adapt to a new way of living in order to keep ourselves and those we care for safe,” he said.
“We are very proud of our fostering community and of our children who have shown their amazing resilience and strength.”
The fostering and social work teams at North Lincolnshire Council are offering high-level support to foster carers through virtual means like email and social media, as well as letters and telephone and video calls.
Foster carers have continued to support each other by calling or checking in on other foster carers, delivering food parcels for those who are not able to go out and finding fun things to do with children in their homes and gardens.
One foster carer has installed a dartboard in her kitchen. She said:
“One of my teenagers has a real interest in woodwork. I wanted to give him a project he would enjoy so I asked him to build a backboard and frame for the dartboard to protect my wall. We like to play as a family but we aren’t that good at it yet. He has to use a lot of skills doing this so has learnt a lot doing something he enjoys. The other children are benefiting from playing darts as well as there is maths involved and it’s something we can all do together.”
Another foster carer commented:
“I think it’s actually brought us closer together, she’s adjusted very well and I’m proud of her. She’s now 15 and is used to going out with her friends at weekends but now she has been helping us to decorate, cook and taking the dogs for a walk. She has been using FaceTime to keep in touch with friends and family regularly, and the whole family played a board game with her friend on the phone.”
Families have also been indoor camping, baking birthday cakes and following the Joe Wicks PE lessons in the morning. They have been challenging each other using their Fitbits to get their steps count up and sharing their skills with their children including offering them art lessons.
The North Lincolnshire Foster Carer Association chair Pet Whittaker said:
“The foster carers have really pulled together and they keep in touch with each other offering advice and support. We have a strong community and this won’t change. Carers are sharing home schooling tips and fun ideas of what do to keep busy.”
Foster carers are needed as much as ever during the coronavirus outbreak. If you feel you have something to offer or would just like to talk to someone about fostering more information on fostering in North Lincolnshire is available on our website.
If you think you could foster please call the fostering team on 01724 297024 or text ‘foster’ to 84433.