How to virtually care for vulnerable children and the families you serve
SUPPORTING OUR FAMS
In this unique time of quarantine and isolation, our supported families will need our help more than ever as they face unprecedented challenges. We have a unique opportunity to serve our families and children even though we can’t physically be present. Let’s remember that one of the main reasons foster families quit is because of the isolation they feel in their journey. The added stress everyone in the household is experiencing could mean more fears and triggers in children, resulting in escalated behaviors. Now more than ever, our families need our love and support!
This uncertain and ever-changing time means that we need to be creative in how we serve our families so they feel our love and encouragement as they navigate life at home with children who have experienced trauma. Our goal is to make sure placements can remain stable and no disruptions occur.
Below are some ideas for how to support these families. Please always follow the highest level of safeguarding to protect yourselves, your volunteers, and the children and families you serve. No one should ever put themselves or others at any kind of risk. Follow all the most updated recommendations by the CDC and anything required by the city or state in which you reside. Extra caution is always advised. All serving is at the discretion of the supported family being served and the volunteer. Err on the side of over-communicating in order to maintain the highest sense of safety possible.
*Find an app or platform that works easily for video calls like Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype.
PRIMARY ACTION STEP
Since in-person visits are prohibited, here are online/virtual ideas your Care Community
Members can do to give caregivers a break:
UNIFYING CARE COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS
As Advocates and Team Leaders, you will have to be very intentional about connecting consistently with your volunteers. We hope you will find joy in your conversations and interactions as you serve in this way.
UNIFYING YOUR ADVOCATE TEAM
Just like with Care Communities, you’ll need to schedule regular virtual calls every 1-3 weeks where you can most importantly, pray for the needs in your FAMs as well as discuss any challenges and how to resolve them.
Divvy up the tasks according to everyone’s capacity and gifting. Writing hand-written notes to your families and Team Leaders can be very encouraging for them. Also, send an email to all volunteers and families twice a month to help encourage them in serving through this challenging time.
DOWNLOAD HERE the below document on Providing Real Care at a Safe Distance.