The Government has called on all of us to distance ourselves from our colleagues, friends and even family members who aren’t living in our households, for the benefit of everyone. More than ever, this is a time to provide crucial support to children and families most isolated and vulnerable at this time.
Our deep concern is that without the structure and support from peers and teachers provided at school, children will become invisible to professionals. The strain that many families were already under will be exacerbated in the current lockdown. Social distancing and physical isolation will be hugely demanding for vulnerable parents in fractured families, who face the challenge of home education within restricted space as well as providing physical needs for their children (food and affection) with limited resources (financial and emotional).
We are also hugely concerned about the potential rise in poorer families in physical abuse towards women and children due to being cooped up together with no outlet for any existing substance abuse or anger management problems.
This is no time to withdraw.
Our continued aim in all of this is to see every child in need raised in a strong family, in partnership with churches throughout the UK.
Our Kids Matter vision to equip parents for the sake of their children’s present and future well-being is pressing and necessary. More than ever, feel called to provide crucial social support to the parents most isolated and vulnerable. As other services are cut and reduced, we are determined to stay active within the most vulnerable communities in our country. It is a time to ensure that the most isolated parents are being supported, which, at Kids Matter, is continuing in new and innovative ways.
Our team of skilled psychologists and community workers are developing new resources for families and parents, tailored to provide specific support in the challenges to come. All our parent WhatsApp groups continue to be lively places for parents to connect and where possible, our amazing team of volunteer facilitators will be providing online workshops and webinars, providing a familiar face and advice to those in distress. For those without access to Wi-Fi, we are working on physical packs of resources that can be delivered to individual homes.
To allow all of the above, our supervision team is working tirelessly to support the facilitators and partner churches on the frontline. We want to be adaptable and flexible as we support our church and community partners in whatever way we can.
Many of our church partners, in the midst of navigating the needs of their congregations in this time of isolation, have already managed to reach out to the vulnerable families in their communities. One church doing its utmost is Oak Grove Community Church in Norfolk. In cooperation with Norfolk Community Foundation and Foodbank, the church has supported local Kids Matter families by delivering crafts, food and necessities. Kayla, mum to three young children said:
Would like to share something positive 😊. My local church I normally visit weekly and support my family loads (Oak Grove Chapel), as part of my Kids Matter programme brought me round a bag full of items for my family today and was so shocked and grateful for their generosity and the thought that had gone into it. Food items, soap, tissues, toilet roll and lots of arts and crafts materials for my kids to use, and ideas. Also kind enough to let us borrow a board game and some books, too. Thank you so much Lynette Woodward from our family to yours.
Lynette, who facilitates Kids Matter parenting programmes at Oak Grove, was able to message Kayla back to say that the game and books were not on loan but a gift from the church.
Other parents messaged Lynette and the church saying:
Thank you so much for our pack, there is so much lovely stuff in there, you are very kind and generous people. Love to you all.
Thank you so so much for our items. Really appreciate it. I hope everyone keeps safe during all this. xx
The arts and crafts you have just dropped off today are now priceless. Can’t pop to shops and buy these items now and they are going to make the biggest difference now we are in lockdown. Thank you. x
More than ever, we need the support of churches – to partner with us so that we can continue equip parents for the sake of their children’s present and future.
Oak Grove Community church continues to support parents and children in lockdown; delivering care packages to families, including booklets for their group to continue with the Kids Matter parenting programme on zoom.
If you’d like to find out more about Kids Matter or would like to get involved, as a volunteer or by financially supporting our programme, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And for more on our IMPACT, click here.