CFS Operations Update during COVID-19
We hope you are all safe and healthy as we struggle through our first (and hopefully only) experience with a pandemic. Are you eating well, exercising, getting outside while maintaining your distance? Please take care of yourselves as best you are able during these difficult days. If you need help please call us or dial 211 for resources in the community.
The news from downstate is worrisome given the numbers of people who have been hospitalized and the degree of their symptoms, as well as the increasing number of deaths. We grieve with those who have lost loved ones. We are so grateful for all of our medical professionals and all those who continue as essential workers to keep things as normal as possible. We’re hopeful that medicine will find a way to treat and end the coronavirus as soon as possible.
Nearly all our work is now taking place remotely. Our offices are closed to visitors. Pete’s Place Youth Shelter remains open, in part with thanks to the generous folks at Turtle Maintenance who donated N95 masks for us to use when face to face contact is required. Child welfare visits are being conducted virtually and our Family Support team is doing an incredible job organizing these and even scheduling extra remote visits in order to make up for the loss of the face time among parents and children. Tele-health sessions have also been approved by all parties and our counselors are helping people adjust and maintain their mental health during this time. Our whole CFS team continues to soldier on, caring for children, youth, adults, and families the way they always do. I’m so proud of each of them and honored to work with them.
While we all do our best to maintain safe distances between us, I know you’ll think of those who cannot easily do so—our first responders and medical professionals, grocery store workers, people who rely on public transportation to get to an essential job, the incarcerated—and find ways to help. The stories of how people are responding to those in need of nearly anything at this time are truly remarkable.
Hearts are joined together even when we can’t be in the same room. And when this is all over, our community and our world will hopefully be better for it.
Child & Family Services announces programming updates in response to COVID-19
“To enhance the safety and well-being of children, youth, adults, and families.”
These words are at the heart of what we do every day, part of our mission statement, recited before meetings and on the walls of our offices so that we never stray from the reason we exist.
As we work together as an organization and in our larger community to stop the Coronavirus pandemic, we at Child & Family Services are continuing to do what we can to limit face-to-face contact as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and other medical experts who have been monitoring the situation closely. As such, please note the following programming updates and changes:
Pete’s Place Youth Shelter for runaway and homeless youth remains open 24/7, while utilizing stringent universal precautions. For more information please call our youth crisis hotline 231-922-4800 or (800) 442-7315. Non-residential Youth Services for and youth and families at risk are available with the same phone numbers.
The Free Legal Aid Clinic has suspended operations through April 28, 2020. People in need of legal assistance may visit the Michigan Legal Help Web site: https://michiganlegalhelp.org/. They may also contact Legal Services of Northern Michigan at (231) 941-0771 for help with evictions or emergency legal needs.
Our therapists and Wraparound team are offering tele-health counseling for mental well-being through Zoom or over the phone to all current clients and new clients as funding and insurance allows. Trauma Assessments have been suspended until further notice.
All classes held at CFS are postponed until further notice, including Always A Parent, Moms’ Empowerment Group, and PRIDE trainings.
Our YouthWork program will suspend operations at close of business Thursday, March 19, 2020.
Safe Haven continues to provide exchange services to families on site and is examining the possibility of conducting virtual visits between parents and their children.
Foster Care visits will be occurring remotely utilizing parameters set forth by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Our front office staff will be available to handle phone calls and mail on a limited basis. PLEASE DO NOT COME TO OUR OFFICES for the time being. Visits must be limited and determined on a case by case basis. Most of our staff will be working from home and available by cell phone for questions and any crises that may arise. We hope that our mitigation efforts, along with yours, will “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of the virus. Thank you for your patience and understanding. We are grateful for a wonderful community response to these difficult circumstances.