Peterborough foster carer speaks of lockdown experiences - and urges others to sign up to scheme

Cecilia has been a foster carer in Peterborough for 30 years

By Stephen Briggs
Saturday, 14th May 2022, 7:00 am

A Peterborough foster carer has spoken of the support she was given during the pandemic as she provided vital care for children in Peterborough.

Cecilia has been a foster carer in the city for more than 30 years, and has spoken of the experiences as part of Foster Care Fortnight.

She is an Ambassador for her local fostering community, said the pandemic did pose some initial challenges.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

A foster carer has urged others to sign up to become carers as part of Foster Care Fortnight

She said: “It’s been such a difficult time for all of us, and for those of us who are Foster Carers there’s a whole added dimension. The isolation was very difficult for my fostered teens as they couldn’t see their friends or go to school. We had very good support from our Supervising Social Worker which really helped us to continue to provide the best care we could, even in a virtual world,” Cecilia said.

“We had frequent virtual meet ups. That was very helpful when things got a bit difficult, and I needed a bit of support or advice. My Social Worker was always there at the end of the phone.”

Foster Care Fortnight, hosted by the Fostering Network, which runs from 9-22 May and focuses on ‘fostering communities’.

Peterborough City Council’s Fostering Service is using this theme to celebrate how their Foster Carers and staff come together to support their fostering community.

Cecilia said she believes the main priority for her during the pandemic was establishing a routine which helped take care of her whole family’s mental health while it was still unsafe to mingle with people outside of their household.

She said: “We did a lot of walking throughout the pandemic.

“We also cycled and gone for lots of picnics – just getting out in the fresh air I think made a big difference”

Cecilia’s family was also a huge source of local support throughout the pandemic, especially once she was able to form a support bubble with her daughter.

Councillor Lynne Ayres, Peterborough City Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, education, skills, and the university, said: “As with all our carers and staff, Cecilia and her Social Worker have demonstrated the value of maintaining a strong support system, even from afar. In supporting her fostered teenagers as they navigate through an exam period that is even more unfamiliar and uncertain than usual, Cecilia has proven herself and her fostering community to be a credit to our Fostering Service.”

Throughout May and June 2022, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fostering Service will be sharing stories like Cecilia’s across its social media channels using the hashtag #FosteringCommunities.

Each month, around 50 children and young people are referred to the Fostering Service with the need to find homes for teenagers, sibling groups and children with disabilities being especially urgent.

If you can provide a safe, loving environment in which a child or young person who cannot live with their birth family can flourish, please get in touch with the fostering team by calling 0800 052 0078, texting FOSTERING to 60777, emailing [email protected] or by visiting www.peterborough.gov.uk/fostering

Follow @PCCFostering on Facebook