Keeping connected to mum during the toughest of times
Mia, Declan and Timmy have been living with their grandmother since their dad was incarcerated four years ago. Their mum was also sent into custody two years after dad while she was pregnant, leaving grandmother Sara to raise the three children until their parents are released.
Aged six, four and two, the family has used many SHINE programs over the years and Sara has always made sure they have regular visits to keep connected with mum and dad. However when COVID restrictions were introduced, it put an end to regular visits and Sara was finding it really difficult to keep the children engaged with their parents. She was also feeling overwhelmed with trying to homeschool her eldest grandchild while minding the little ones.
Sara was extremely grateful when our Child and Family Worker Karen reached out to check in with them and told Karen how hard she was finding it. Sara said that she didn’t have the resources to do more than she had already been doing to try to keep the children in regular contact with their parents and that she was really worried that they’d start to lose the important bond with mum and dad they’d worked so hard to maintain.
When Karen spoke to her about the Family Connection Packs that SHINE had created for children she said, “Oh that would be wonderful for the children to have these to send to their mum! She is especially struggling with not seeing them.”
A few weeks after the packs were delivered to mum and dad, Karen followed up with Sara and she sounded much happier. She thanked Karen and told her, “the children have been so busy colouring in pictures for mum and excited to show her their work on the AVL calls.”
While nothing can replace in-person visits, these packs were able to keep the children connected to their mum and dad during a really tough time.
Sara said they have inspired the children to keep creating drawings with the pencils from the packs so they can show their parents during video visits and talk about the other activities they have been working on.
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