POWYS County Council has praised its children's services staff for its work during the coronavirus pandemic and government lockdown.

Foster carers forced to shield received support from the council's children's services department.

Councillor Rachel Powell, Cabinet Member for Young People, Leisure and Culture, commented: “I am really impressed with the support that our children’s services staff have provided to our foster families during these extraordinary few months.

“The support they would usually give face-to-face has had to change and be provided remotely, over the phone and by email. This support has helped our foster carers to continue to provide warm, loving and welcoming homes to our looked-after children and young people.”

One foster family found themselves facing an extended period in isolation due to shielding requirements.

The strain of being confined to the house contributed to the family feeling incredibly isolated and led to the children displaying some disruptive behaviour.

Staff from the council’s children’s services team supported the family creatively with increased telephone contact and the use of online resources.

Following initial conversations to understand the situation and why the children were behaving in this way, staff and the foster carers came up with a strategy to help diffuse the situation.

It was also important to staff to ensure that the foster carers were taking care of themselves as well as the children during this stressful period.

On discussion with the family, support networks were identified and the importance of incorporating ‘mindful moments’ throughout the day to boost ‘self-care’.

Weekly check-ins have continued throughout this time, and since shielding has ended, to ensure that the family is supported.

The council consider foster carers to be the most valuable asset in the fostering service and are committed to provide 24 hour support to ensure foster families and the children they care for receive the support they need every step of the way.

“I would like to say a big thank you to all the foster carers working with us. The young people in your care, and the council as a whole, really appreciate all that you do” added cllr Powell.

If you are interest in becoming a foster carer with Powys, please call 0800 22 30 627 or visit dedicated webpage: www.powys.gov.uk/fostering for more information.