If you managed to scroll through social media yesterday, like me, you might have been amazed at the way churches, leaders and communicators had all managed to live stream/ record and project a message of hope to their communities.
At this time we need hope and people need clear direction. There's an old proverb that says "Without vision, people perish" and the sad truth is that as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, people's lives are already unwrapping and crumbling. Anxiety, fear and financial strain are all very real concerns. These factors, and others, can provide a very unstable home life for children and young people.
After speaking to front-line social workers and carers, the reality is that there is a deep concern for vulnerable children.
People are asking questions like; How do we cope with the extra demand on services? Will isolation increase risk of domestic violence/ neglect for children? What can we do to protect our children and young people?
The news shows us the huge strain that doctors, nurses, shop attendants, delivery drivers and other key front-line workers are facing. One group of people have not been mentioned nearly enough and that's social workers.
Let's not beat about the bush, right now social workers right across the UK are working tirelessly and selflessly to make sure that the most vulnerable are still being cared for. Social workers are busy figuring out how best to protect children from potentially volatile situations and trying to safeguard against all eventualities.
Social workers and front-line practitioners are busy implementing systems and strategies that are going to save lives, but they are also exhausted, forgotten about and so often overworked.
Our social workers have to turn up when lots of us have the opportunity to stay home.
Just imagine the dire impact if they didn't turn up. Imagine if those children, who are stuck in a desperate situation, were simply left to face abuse and neglect.
I am really thankful for our army of social workers and feel grateful for the leadership of Children's services across the land.
Great leaders look up and around when others look down.
Think about those words for a moment; Great leaders look up and they look around. All of us have the opportunity to look around. Who can we help? Who needs cheering on? Can I do something to be a force for good?
Like most of us, you are probably wondering how to help in these moments.
What can we do?
Here's 5 really simple and helpful ways in which we could all help;
1. Message/text/call any social workers, front-line practitioner and carers that we know and see how they are.
2. Pray for our incredible social workers. Pray for energy, wisdom and perhaps even divine intervention in their work. Thinking particularly for their areas of concern and gaps in workload. Praying for their health and well-being.
3. Do we know families/single parents that are perhaps in a vulnerable position? Are you in a place where you can lightly check-in and see how they are doing. Understanding that if we as their community are supporting, then we are helping an overstretched social services team. Do highlight any serious concerns to your local services.
4. Be a blessing: Do we know any social workers, carers and front-line practitioners that we can send a thoughtful card, note and gift to? Showing them our deep gratitude and support for all they are and do.
5. Get social: Post a thank you message on your social media feed - spread encouragement and honour to those who are working tirelessly in unprecedented times. People will see it and your words will mean so much to many.
In these times, it takes ALL of us to respond. What will your response be?
The future is bright,
Fostering Care is an independent non-profit fostering organisation based in the North East of England, with a plan to serve across the UK.
Working through local Churches, we connect looked after children to loving homes. NorthPoint are there for the journey.
Committed to seeing every looked after child: 1. Experience unconditional love 2. Embrace their value, uniqueness and talents 3. Excel at life
Our approach is to support each looked-after child through all areas of their lives.
Our pathway plan engages the past, present and the future of each looked after child, to bring about transformed lives.
Launching in Spring 2020, we have a vision to serve and reform the UK foster care system.
Become a friend, register your details. We are looking for foster carers, team-mates and passionate people to join us in our journey of transformation.
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