It’s children’s mental health week and in support of the movement, I thought I’d discuss the aftercare I provide to children who I have looked after over the past five years.
I am very fortunate to have worked for many amazing families and with the temporary work that I do there always comes a time when I have to leave. I am very aware of the potential digression a child may have once I leave, especially after building up a great rapport with them, so I always put steps in place to ensure the smoothest transition possible.
The first step is to ensure that the children are aware of the date I will be leaving in advance. This allows them to have time to understand why I am leaving and for us to make a plan for once I have left. The second step is to be clear to them about the aftercare programme I provide. With the permission of their parents, all of the children previously in my care have a clear understanding that they can contact me for support whenever they feel they need too. I have accounts across all social media platforms and my phone is always available. The parents also know they can get in touch.
The aftercare I provide ensures the children will always have someone outside of their immediate family that they can talk too. COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of my aftercare programme. Both parents and children who I haven’t spoken to in a while have asked to have a chat during the global pandemic.
Every time I speak to a new client I talk about building up trust and working as a team. It’s important to me, that the children I have looked after understand, I will help them regardless of how long it has been since I have spoken to them or where I am in the world.
Sometimes a chat is all we need.