Well before the COVID19 crisis, we could see that there were identifiable gaps in care where vulnerable young people are being consistently under-served, therefore as social workers, carers and as a charity we must continue our focus on advocacy, sustainable solutions and importantly, survivor care for young trafficked people.
As we move through these times of uncertainty there are many concerns, and with little control over how the pandemic will effect young trafficked survivors, our carers continue to be the one certainty and constant in a young person’s life. As young people in our care need a home base and a safe centre to their world, and a Love146 UK social worker is that and more.
We spoke to Lynne Chitty, Love146 UK’s Head of Care, who shares with you how our carers are working through the crisis;
What enables you and the care team to keep strong and has fuelled your drive in the day to day especially, through this time of stress?
“Young people still have the same issues to deal with, so nothing changes for them. We must continue to provide support as usual.”
“As carers are the only normality in some lives. we have been there to reassure, to continue the battles. A five year battle was won this week. Our young person got his 5 years leave to remain, we cried with happiness.”
“This is what fuels us, this is what keeps us going.”
What changes have you all had to make because of the pandemic? and why?
“Mainly through the use of PPE. We have had to keep our distance which has been hard for us and our young people. We had to shorten our face to face visits, but we did keep seeing our young people in person.”
How have the young people been affected? What short-term and long term issues has being in lockdown meant to young people?
“The young people at first did not believe there was a virus.”
“They did not believe it was as dangerous as what was being reported and then became very worried. They were worried about the shops having empty shelves.”
“Some young people have said not being able to freely go out was like …..
….being back in their county where there was conflict and war.”
“One young person arrived during the lockdown and was put on the immediate safety plan, this has helped to keep him safe. Another of our young people will not go shopping (only for food). She does not want to go back to the gym when it reopens, she is very worried there will be a spike in the future.”
” I do not think we will truly know for some time what the long term impacts will be on our young people.”
Will/have these unprecedented times changed the way you work in the future (for the good)?
“It will not change the way we work with our young people.”
“I will think before I attend a meeting, especially in London, if there is a virtual option, I think I will be using that in the future.”
How can you make a referral?
If you want more information or to make a referral to Love146 UK, please download the referral form from our website and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.