Foster Care Blog 9

Returning to the new ‘normal’

Well here we are, restrictions are being lifted and we are returning to the new ‘normal’. 

We have all gone through scary transitions and come out of the other side. Children that are looked after may have handled not going to school better than children living with their families. It is easier for a child in the care system to stay at home; it is one less thing they have to worry about, not having to ‘prove’ themselves to their peers, not having to work harder than their peers to fit in and conform. Even being dropped to school and collected from school can cause anxiety, do they pretend you are their parent, aunt, uncle etc just to make them appear ‘normal’.

Transitions are becoming the ‘norm’ for us all.  Transitioning to wearing masks in shops, being more aware of who you are coming in to contact with, having time slots to eat out and meet friends and families in pubs and restaurants.  This is not what we have been used to . . .  and holidays . . . do we go on holiday, is it safe to go abroad or even to travel from Wales to England etc.  Full facilities not being open if you do venture to a holiday destination, how desperate are we to go? We all need a break, a change of scene but there are so many ‘what-ifs’? 

Julian has handled not going away very well, perhaps this is due to his reduced capacity rather than acceptance of the situation.  He has occasionally asked for ‘purple house bed tonight’ which is the Premier Inn; we have managed to distract and change the subject. We have a trip planned for October half term and will seek support from our Supervising Social Worker when deciding if we should still go or not.

Schools are back for September in Wales with a reduced return for the first 2 weeks, then all children to return by September 14th. We need to trust that this is the right thing to do for our children.  Julian is definitely ready to return. I have told him that September is when school is happening again. 

I am a play co-ordinator and organise a playscheme for the summer holidays, Julian will be attending with me for 3 days a week to ease him back into a routine again . . . transitioning him to a successful return to school, hopefully!  That word again, transition.

I have learnt many things through the lockdown, about myself, my family and particularly about Julian.  His resilience continues to amaze me each day, the last four months have been intense, educational and enlightening.  My Supervising Social Worker has telephoned me every week, face timed and supported me remotely throughout the whole period.  We have had training and networking via the internet; I have had an educational review and a child that is looked after review via one of the many systems offered to support such things. 

We have all participated in and survived a period of history that will be taught to children of the future . . . now there is a sobering thought.

Summer holidays loom, enjoy, relax and above all keep safe,

Daisy Doo and Julian too xxxx