Giving our young people choice has really worked

06 May 2020

Paula Cooking

One of the roles of a foster carer, is to be well organised and Paula knows better than many how important this is (even under normal circumstances) to keep things running smoothly! 

Paula and her husband are foster carers for an 11yr old and two 14yr olds, all with different and busy schedules.  Paula has applied the same approach to their maintaining a routine during the pandemic, and on the whole it’s working really well for everyone.

Paula shared their typical lockdown routine with us.

  • We all eat breakfast (and all meals) together, and then our young people do their homework together at the kitchen table, which has worked out well as they can help and support each other
  • After an hour of homework, they have a 10 min break, as it’s hard to stay focused for longer in the current situation
  • At lunch time, we take a full hour to all eat together and the kids take it in turns to choose what we have
  • Once homework is finished for the day, we make sure they have a break from the screen – either playing in the garden or going out for a walk
  • During the week, we limit screen time to 2 hrs, but it’s more relaxed at the weekend, when they have more freedom about what time they get up and what they choose to do
  • In the evenings, we all enjoy movie night with popcorn together!

We're lucky that all our young people have their own space to go to, to be on their own or have online contact with their families. It’s still hard for them, and they each have their own anxiety’s about Covid, but we continue to apply the techniques we’ve learned in training (which have become second nature), and we continue to talk to the children, including about their own families.  We also we don't dwell too much on the negatives that are in the news.

“At the moment, we generally don’t have as much choice about what we can and can’t do, but we allow the children make choices about as many things possible, as it really helps them not feel ‘stuck’ in the lockdown situation.  They take it in turns to choose what activities we do when they are not doing school work, and what we have to eat or watch for movie night”

Paula, Foster Care

If you feel you could offer support and love to a child during difficult times, we'd love to hear from you.  To find out more about fostering, please contact us.