I’m Joe Rhys-Jones and I’m the Head of Operations for Calon Cymru. I’ve just finished my first year with the agency although I worked for the company approximately 16 years ago. Coming back was like never having been away, in so many ways. Some of the staff are still here and Barrie (recruitment manager) will have celebrated 20 years with the agency last week. 16 years on and lots of Foster Carers are still here continuing to look after children and even some of the children are still here, although now young adults continuing to live in their home with their Foster Carers.
The best thing that remains is that the priority for all staff and Foster Carers is always the child.
So in terms of Operations and lockdown, we have managed to do just about everything in a different way. And in doing so staff and Foster Carers have all become IT skilled in so many different ways.
Social Workers miss the visits to Foster Carers, seeing their colleagues, and the children face to face. This is probably the most challenging part of the lockdown.
On a personal level, I see many traditional values pushing forward. People helping one another, getting to know others in their street that they have never spoken to before (because they go to work and come home), people walking more and picking up the phone to reach out to somebody they haven’t spoken to for a few years and resurrecting old friendships. Things we may never have done in the old world.
I want to thank the Calon Cymru foster carers and all the staff for everything they are doing to the same high standard but differently. But also massive hats off to the children and young people who continue to smash it with their patience, imagination, and resilience.