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Churches, Let’s Not Treat Our Children’s Workers Like They’re Dispensable

It’s Children’s Mental Health Week this week, but it’s something we’ve been talking about for some time already, especially those of us who work with children and families.

Over the last few months I have become even more convinced that what the Church can do is vital – and I was already convinced about it!

I’m not talking about shiny, all singing, all dancing programmes for children. I’m not talking about getting face-to-face children’s groups going again and struggling with extensive rules either.

It’s bigger, and yet simpler than that.

It was sad that at the beginning of the pandemic many employed children’s and family workers, and their national advisers, were furloughed – just at the point they were needed most. I wonder if some of that was due to misunderstandings from leadership teams of exactly what those valuable team members do.

Much could still have been done, even without face-to-face work. Families and children were still needing support, and yet the key people who could have helped them were out of the picture.

Having spoken with many, many children’s and family leaders, both paid and volunteers, I’ve learnt a lot of what they have faced individually over these long months.

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