A message from our CEO: Staying safe in unprecedented times

As an organisation, we understand the concern surrounding the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak. As we all navigate this particularly difficult period, the health, wellbeing and safety of our children & young people, foster families and employees remains our highest priority.

On 21st April 2020, our CEO, Marina Mulholland, gave an update our about the current situation and how the organisation is responding during these unprecedented times:

“It has now been over 4 weeks (Friday, March 13th) since we decided to ‘lockdown’ at The CFT.

Our ‘move’ last month from office to home was a ‘big’ one. However, with some excellent IT support and bags of patience from each and everyone, we made it! As a result, the whole of The CFT are now operating remotely and for the most, it’s business as usual’ with a few adjustments.

Now we have all settled into a ‘remote’ way of working and communication. We have started to consider how we could continue to move forwards with issues such as panels, reviews, and recruitment. As a result, next month, we will be holding our very first ‘Virtual Panels’. Behind the scenes, this has meant a great deal of preparatory work, thought, discussion and planning for these panels to take place. I am very grateful to the West Yorkshire team for all their creativity and hard work on this. We have also started to look at how we can continue to ‘recruit’ new Carers under the current restrictions. In the next few weeks, we will begin to conduct ‘virtual’ home visits with new applicants!

There have been some really creative pieces of work coming out of all regions these past few weeks and a real coming ‘together’ of ideas and enormous support for one another which has been a pleasure to witness and be part of it.

Our Foster Carers continue to do an outstanding job under incredibly challenging circumstances. Their regional Facebook entries are quite impressive! Our children are certainly having fun whilst learning at home and I have no doubt that many of our Carers now realize that they are ‘natural born teachers’!

However, as we move into the next ‘phase’ of this lockdown and continue to steer our way through unchartered waters, I am mindful of how we will all cope in the weeks ahead. However, as we move into the next ‘phase’ of this lockdown and continue to steer our way through unchartered waters I am mindful of how we will all cope in the weeks ahead. Each of us faces challenges that are different and the same. Isolation, loneliness, financial worries, keeping our families safe, our health, our children, our elderly relatives, the future and what it may look like?

I don’t have all of the answers, but I would like to reassure you all that if we can help in any small way we will certainly try our best to.

Each of us faces challenges that are different and the same. However, as we do not, and cannot, have full control of individual’s movements, or indeed plan for all eventualities, it remains crucial that we start to take a proactive role in doing as much as we can, as early as we can to keep as many of our staff, Carers and children safe.

I have no doubt though that by supporting one another, understanding that some days are going to be better than others and knowing that in spite of the challenges we all now face YOU are all making a difference, be it big or small, and for that the Trustees and I continue to be enormously grateful. So I say a huge THANK YOU to you all, take very good care, stay safe and keep moving forwards.”

Marina Mulholland – CEO of The Children’s Family Trust

As an organisation, we also have created a COVID-19 information page for our foster carers, staff and children and young people, which includes lots of helpful information about ‘how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and busy in this challenging situation’. Please visit https://thecft.org.uk/covid-19/ for more details.

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