Keyworkers from St Michael's who are keeping our residential centres running during this crisis have were praised for their commitment and determination.
Mick Stephens, our Deputy Manager, wrote this message to all of them last week.
Firstly, thank you big time, to the residential staff, managers’ and the sessional staff who have been there when needed, for all that you do and all that you are doing.
It is with enormous respect and admiration that I want to pay tribute to our residential staff and management during this critical period. They have throughout this crisis never stopped coming into work, day after day, shift after shift, to maintain our ‘essential service.’
Without exception, and despite any personal risk, their own fears and their own anxieties, staff and managers’ have shown a level of motivation, commitment, courage and belief in what they do to continue to travel into work to provide the essential direct 1:1 support to safeguard, protect and support the children and their parents.
Keyworkers determination and resourcefulness
Yet with the support of St. Michael’s and through their own and their managers’ determination and resourcefulness, staff are coping in these very difficult times. A big shout out should also go to a number of hardy sessional staff who when there have been gaps, have had the confidence in the safety of the working environment, the management and their residential colleagues to come into work. Thank you, you too have been essential.
We are now considering what to do next, when current families move out, how to manage new referrals if appropriate, and consider how safe we can make it.
In this climate this is not a straight forward process and creates a level of risk for our staff and families that we need to consider, negotiate and manage. It is a situation made all the more complex by the virtual support method currently utilised by most of the local authorities and professional support networks.
Managing all risks
This means that we, our staff and managers, need to manage the risks, not just CV-19, but all aspects of risk when moving a new family into a house at this time.
However, when we are ready to admit we will have a plan that is clear and considered, and an approach that will have been discussed and thought through with staff that looks to minimise the risks. It will be managed by an exceptional group of managers and staff to support the continuation of our residential services; recognising that if ever someone needed to be there for these children and their parents it will be St. Michael’s.
Thanks you to all the Residentail Family Centre staff and managers for your courage, commitment and determination to continue to provide our ‘essential service’.