Can I still become a foster carer during coronavirus?

 In LiKa News

foster care in coronavirus

Can I still become a foster carer during coronavirus?

Coronavirus might have put many of our plans on hold, but if you’re interested in becoming a foster carer, the good news is you still can.

In fact, we’ve welcomed several new foster carers during lockdown and we still have groups going through our Skills to Foster training program who we hope will join the LiKa family as foster carers very soon.

But, as you can imagine, COVID-19 means we have had to adapt the way we do things. Here’s everything you need to know if you’re thinking about becoming a foster carer during the coronavirus pandemic.

1. How coronavirus has affected foster carer assessments

We’re still doing our usual assessments for potential foster carers (you can read about the whole process here, so you know what to expect), they’re just being carried out online.

Our assessing social workers have been having online sessions with potential carers, including the family network meetings and talking to referees. It’s the same structure, just “virtual”.

covid-10 foster caring

Foster care assessments are still happening, despite coronavirus.
Image: courtesy of Michael Mim, Unsplash

2. Coronavirus hasn’t stopped us approving new foster carers

Our panel is still running and, in fact, we’ve had three since lockdown and we’ve welcomed several new carers during this time. The feedback on these online panels has been really positive.

READ MORE: What’s it like appearing before a foster panel?

3. Training and resources for foster carers during lockdown

Providing excellent training and resources to help you create transformational change in the lives of young people is at the heart of everything we do, so training delivery has continued despite lockdown. But (you guessed it) we’ve taken the training online.

Skills to Foster, the training program for people who want to become carers, has been continuing online, via Zoom. (You don’t need any particular qualifications to become a carer; we provide you with training to ensure you have the skills needed to support young people in need.)

Actually, we’ve also taken the opportunity to expand the range of online training available to our carers, with new online workshops and modules on:

  • Therapeutic parenting
  • Trauma
  • Safeguarding
  • Fostering tasks.

We’ve got even more new online training courses for foster carers on the way soon.

become a foster parent in coronavirus

Our Skills to Foster training for people interested in becoming foster carers is still happening, despite lockdown.
Image: courtesy of Allen Taylor, Unsplash

4. Support to foster carers is better than ever

One of the things we believe really strongly is that foster carers should never feel alone in what they’re trying to achieve for a young person, so ensuring that level of support continued despite coronavirus lockdown was a huge priority for us.

What we didn’t necessarily expect was that some of the innovations we introduced in response to lockdown and social distancing would be so popular that our carers would want them to continue even after lockdown ends!

READ MORE: What kinds of challenges do new foster carers face?

We’ve been having a regular “virtual get-together” with all our carers each Thursday, which everyone has loved. We always want all our carers to have a voice and feel encouraged to participate and provide opinions about care, so these catch-ups have been fantastic.

We’ll also probably do more virtual sessions with our young people and carers in the future, as this saves on travel time, meaning we can provide better support.

become a  foster parent

We’ve found innovative new ways to provide support during lockdown.
Image: courtesy of Chayene Rafaela, Unsplash

5. The valuable work of care continues, despite coronavirus

As a systemic agency, we believe positive change can happen, even in the most challenging situations. Generally when we say that, we’re talking about systemic therapy and how a foster carer understanding what influences the way a young person acts and thinks, and responding with the right techniques, can be life-changing.

While the lockdown hasn’t been easy for anyone, if there’s a positive for the LiKa family it’s that we’ve adapted well and, in doing so, have discovered exciting opportunities to provide even better training, resources and support to all our foster carers and young people.

Become a Foster Carer in South London

If you’re in south or east London (including Croydon, Hackney, Barking, Dagenham, Lewisham, Redbridge, Ilford and Newham) and you’re interested in becoming a foster carer, give the helpful team at LiKa a call on 020 8667 2111. We’re here to answer all your questions.

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