"One of the greatest assets our service provides is that we go out to families in their own homes, where they feel comfortable. However, during the Covid-19 lockdown, this was no longer possible so I began to look at other ways to make sure I could keep in touch with families.
It was really important to me to make sure I didn’t lose the connections I’d made with babies and young children. It takes time to build a relationship and I didn't want the babies to become unfamiliar with me. So it felt natural to me to offer families the option of keeping in touch via video calls. I have found this to be a real success and feel it gives a far more personal touch.
The great thing about keeping in touch by video is that I get to see the children grow and develop, particularly as they change so fast. It also means they can still see me and this helps my relationship, not only with them but with the parents as well.
Not only does this mean I can still deliver Small Steps at Home to the families but I get to enjoy fun times with them too, like reading stories and being able to run virtual ‘Boogie Tots’ sessions – families can join in from their own living rooms. Seeing the children’s faces light up when ‘Boogie Bear’ or one of his friends pays them a personal visit is priceless. I think I enjoy it as much as the little ones!
I’ve also started doing requests by putting together personalised videos of favourite ‘Boogie Tots’ songs for individual families.
Families have been sending me photos or videos of their baby’s first steps or making a craft you had told them about or sharing a sensory experience we discussed on a call.
I am the Engagement Lead for the Bulwell Family Mentor team. We are continually working on new ways to reach out to our families – often that means thinking outside of the box.
Despite the lockdown, we have continued to support, comfort, entertain and inspire our families. It makes me feel proud to know that we had such a positive impact on their time.
The families I’ve shared this period of time with will always have a special place in my heart. They have taught me so much, and I will go on to share these experiences with other families that we will have the pleasure to grow with."
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