As our country faces unprecedented times, Children’s Aid is focused and prepared to ensure the safety and health of our clients, staff, and organization. Like everyone, we are managing through the uncertainties of this crisis as they come, and reassessing the situation hour by hour. While so much is unknown, we can anticipate that COVID-19 will have a profound impact on the people and communities we serve.
For families living in poverty, worries about coronavirus extend far beyond social distancing and stock prices, although those worries are real. The everyday challenges they face – hunger, homelessness, job insecurity, and limited access to medical and mental health care – become even more daunting and destabilizing. Children’s Aid is unwavering in our commitment to meeting the essential needs of our children, youth, and families.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
At this time, the majority of our sites and programs remain open to serve those who need us, and we are adjusting rapidly as we learn more from our families, medical experts, and funding partners.
- Our community health clinics that serve more than 5,000 patients remain open and ready to test symptomatic children and young people for COVID-19. We continue our standard practice and rigor regarding disinfection and sanitation across these and all of our locations, in accordance with CDC and WHO recommendations.
- Our nearly 700 children in family, therapeutic, and medical foster care continue to be served, as do their families, with child welfare staff leveraging technology to provide counseling services and home visitations.
- For youth in our child welfare programs who were living on college campuses that have been closed, we have arranged transportation, living arrangements, and computer equipment to access online learning.
- Our program staff – who serve all ages and stages from early childhood through early adulthood – are calling families to support them, understand their emergency needs, and inform our response.
And these are just our initial highlights. At a time when community needs are particularly acute, we will need to remain flexible in the types of services we offer and ways in which we offer them.
WHAT WE MUST DO
Over 150 years ago, Children’s Aid created the safety net of social services for our City’s most vulnerable children and youth. Today, we need leadership and support from our government and philanthropic partners to weather this pandemic and remain strong for our children, youth, and families. They are relying on us now more than ever.