In a year when we have all felt disconnected from family and friends, it is important for us to consider how we nurture relationships for those who can be isolated from their family within the care system. I was reflecting on three brothers, who stayed within Care Vision services but were not yet ready to live together. The effort made by the staff team to ensure that the siblings could enjoy time together, either in one another homes or taking part in activities, is something that should be applauded. It should also be expected, as we are all very aware of the developmental impact of disrupted attachments in sibling relationships.
It is always nice to see our teams wrap around the needs of the children and make things happen. Moreover, it creates a sense of community, joint working to a common purpose. This sends a powerful message to the young people that we care for, who can often be ostracised within their home community or fearful and mistrusting of the adults that come into their lives.
While we strive for young people to achieve independence as they go into the adult world, it is equally important that we support young people to have connections with others and an ability to reach out for help. Relationships can sustain us when we face hard times and the support of a community can help us to overcome the obstacles that we face.
I believe that as the teams work together to make plans, offer support and guidance to the boys as they spend time together, the young people experience the value placed on these relationships. The relationship between the individual young people and their respective care workers is also shared between the siblings when they come together and emphasises that safe and nurturing relationships are possible. As this is replicated each time the siblings come together, the shared experiences create a sense of community and connection, even where they live apart.
These experiences can be the foundation of the young people’s understanding of the importance of interconnected relationships and how these relationships endure beyond the time spent together. Having the importance of these relationships reinforced through the Promise was welcomed by us all. #KeepThePromise