An interview with Pauline Hawkes
How did PCC start?
PCC started in a spare room in our house with like-minded people wanting to help young people who found themselves or had travelled to the UK with nothing and needed help. We’d been foster carers for 20 years prior to that and together with Carla, our daughter, we started to provide rooms and support workers for young people who found themselves alone in the UK from across the world. Since then we’ve added more staff and eventually went on to open a fostering agency under the PCC umbrella.
Where are you now?
We have a team of 15 people that share a vision to help children and young people and we’re able to provide an excellent service to them whether they’re in foster carer or our supported housing. PCC now has a depth of experience and qualifications in its staff that are able to provide support to over 50 children and young people at any time. We have influence beyond our local area and have partnerships with other charities in South London, Sri Lanka and Kenya and benefit from strong relationships with their teams. In North London we now support student social workers as they demonstrate their fitness to practice while working with the team. It’s an exciting time and we’re really proud of what we do but very keen that we don’t rest on our laurels and develop the quality and strength of what we do.
What does the future hold?
We want to continue to push forwards, raise awareness of the challenges that many children and young people face, both children who are fostered and unaccompanied young people coming into the country. The needs of this group are greater than ever, and we know that resources are always going to be hard to come but we want to continue to support children and young people in creative ways that produce long term and durable works.