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Supporting foster carers and young people remotely

Carolina House Trust we have adapted to social distancing measures required by the COVID-19 outbreak. Staff in the Foster Care, Life Changes Trust and Support Teams are all working from home for the first time in our 200 years history. Only the Residential Care team are still attending Tarvit Cottage to support the young people that live there.

Supervising Social Workers and Placement Support Workers are in regular contact with foster carers and young people to provide regular supervision, on-call and duty services and additional support. While the team are unable to visit due to social distancing measures, they are keeping in touch via telephone, email and video calls.

The charity has also created Club CHT, a programme of activities and support designed to help provide both foster carers and young people with activities, news from the team and other households in the Carolina House Trust community and age-appropriate resources for coping with the challenges of social distancing.

Head of Operations, Sara Lovelock, said, “The children and young people we work with have often experienced trauma in their childhood. This means they will find the immediate and sweeping changes required to manage the Coronavirus outbreak will be extremely challenging for them to cope with. In turn, this means our foster carers are also being tested in these difficult times. Our efforts must be focused on supporting them to look after themselves and provide the specific and intensive care that our young people need right now. The important work foster carers are doing at this time is critical to how our young people endure this outbreak and how it affects the rest of their lives.

We are using the telephone, email and video calls to support our foster carers and a Supervising Social Worker is on-call 24/7 for advice and guidance. We have also created Club CHT, a daily email and social media update with entertainment and support specific to the therapeutic needs of our young people and foster carers. We are bringing together tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, MailChimp, WordPress and Youtube for the first time alongside our regular use of Facebook, Twitter and Canva.

We wonder what our charity founders would have thought of all this when they opened an orphanage in Dundee 1815. Our organisation has witnessed two World Wars, numerous global economic events, the Spanish Flu, cholera and the eradication of smallpox and polio. While we modernise and adapt our services, our goal remains the same – providing nurturing homes for children and young people that help them reach their potential.”

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