Foster carers are well used to dealing with some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people in our country. The recent pandemic has affected everyone in different ways. Sadly it seems that those who start out having experienced many disadvantages are prone to suffering even more. Covid-19 has been a great leveller in terms of making us all realise that – until there is an effective vaccine – we are all at risk. But it has to be said that the pandemic has hit certain groups far harder than others. At one end of the spectrum, there those who have admitted to enjoying aspects of the lockdown. A chance to learn a foreign language, or empty the loft of junk accrued over the years. Those who have been able to work from home have had a very different experience from those whose jobs effectively disappeared. So, clearly, life remains unfair. We are, consequently, all under an obligation to see that the most vulnerable are shielded from the worst effects of the pandemic. And these are playing out in all manner of ways. Some predictable, others less so. When the lockdown began there was a commitment e form the government that all children would be able to access teaching online. Promises were made; and with the best of intentions, that computers would be provided. No child would be permitted to fall behind. But as we slowly and hesitantly emerge from the lockdown, a more accurate picture of what has actually been happening is beginning to emerge. It seems some disadvantaged children may be too anxious to go back to school if they re-open in September. The children’s charity, Buttle UK, is warning that children who discover they have fallen far behind their peers could well start truanting.
Foster carers should be aware of survey findings.
One of the most negative aspects of coronavirus is that it has fuelled an attainment gap in our education system. And this, some believe, is widening rapidly. Buttle UK has conducted a survey amongst one thousand teachers and other frontline staff working with children and one finding to emerge, is that pupils living in poverty have had “either no homeschooling at all or have found it incredibly difficult to learn at home.”
Of course, many foster children will have received high-quality support. No two settings are the same. Foster carers try their best whatever the range of individual circumstances. But for those striving to support children who had experienced placement breakdowns and whose motivation levels were already low before the lockdown, trying to engage their interest in online education can’t have been easy.
Many families struggling with poverty before the lockdown have been put under even greater pressure. When schools return, the concern is that there will be a big rise in children disclosing with that leading to them being taken into care. Researchers for the charity spoke to support workers across the country. They spoke of a surge in behavioural problems during the lockdown among children from poor backgrounds. Concerns have emerged there could be a ‘digital divide’ -which could give rise to greater truancy rates – as fifteen per cent of respondents said children had received no home-schooling in the lockdown period.
The charity’s chief executive, Joseph Howes, the charity’s chief executive, stated:
“For many children and young people, the pandemic has only amplified the difficulties that already existed in their lives, increasing their isolation and forcing them to spend many hours in homes that lack the bare essentials and comforts most of us take for granted. So many are not getting their basic needs met. We know that whilst the Government cannot do everything, it can show leadership and put children at the heart of the recovery. Bit if we are going to make a dent in these seemingly intractable issues, we must act now to prevent a lost generation.”
Rainbow an independent fostering agency that leads the way!
Why should you choose Rainbow? We think our size makes the difference. We are by no means the biggest organisation allowing our directors and senior management to be ‘hands-on’. So we think Rainbow could be the best agency for you – you are never just a name. You are a member of our community. The following are some of the other reasons we think our agency would be a good choice. And, importantly, we never forget you have a choice. Firstly, we have been rated ‘Outstanding in all areas’ by Ofsted. This means you are always assured of a high level of support – with plenty of varied training opportunities. Secondly, our professionalism, expertise and care mean we take great pride in following best practice. Thirdly, we invest heavily in the professional development of our foster carers and staff. This gives our agency – and everyone who is part of it – the best chance of making the very best difference to the young lives we care for.
There is no upper age limit to becoming a foster carer. But you will need to be reasonably fit to cope with the demands of fostering a child or young person. Foster carers can be any gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. They can be married, cohabiting, single or divorced. The only ‘must-have’ is there has to be a spare room for a child or young person.
Foster care professional career opportunities available now: Rainbow Fostering London; Fostering Birmingham; Rainbow Fostering Manchester and Rainbow Fostering Hampshire.
Just call our National Line 0330 311 2845 to speak with one of our recruitment advisors.
And please, its a good idea to visit our FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page. http://rainbowfostering.co.uk/frequent-asked-questions/ If you explore our website you will discover our blog section. There are many features that cover specific aspects of fostering as well as more general issues. This resource is all about keeping our foster carers informed and up-to-date. And to build their professional knowledge and pride in the work they do. http://rainbowfostering.co.uk/call-lgbt-foster-carers/ To make sure you remain safe, visit the government site below for the latest advice and guidance – https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/coronavirus