Covid-19 Updates

4/5/2020

Dear Child and Family Charities’ Community,

A few updates to bring to your attention:

Agency Closure: Our state legislators will meet next week to vote on the extension for the Stay Home, Stay Safe order.  Offices will remain “closed” according to the state recommendations.  With the recent school closure announcement, please know we are committed to our flexible work culture to accommodate your family needs.  Scheduling options can be arranged with supervisors when our office opens.

Potential Financial Assistance: The CARES Act was put into effect last week on a federal level.  This Act includes many tax credits and financial relief programs. Child and Family is eligible for some of these options and we plan to pursue them.  Our goal is to cover our increased costs with providing 24/7 residential services, additional staffing, and possible decreases in fundraising dollars.   It is important to consider the future climate of the state contracts and fundraising. Our Board of Directors has been very supportive in this effort, helping us navigate best options.

Student Loan Forgiveness:  Many staff members qualify for the student loan repayment forgiveness program by working at Child and Family Charites, a registered non-profit. The CARES Act includes relief for some borrowers. I encourage you to contact your student loan provider to see if you can benefit.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/wesleywhistle/2020/04/02/a-surprise-benefit-for-student-loan-borrowers-from-the-cares-act/#5842e6614909

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA):  FFCRA went into effect April 1st. To help us track who may be eligible for benefits under this act, we have added a COVID-19 code in payroll. If you or a family member are unable to work and under the care of a health professional for COVID-19 symptoms, you may be eligible for up to 2 weeks paid leave.  Liz will be communicating additional information about this and posting at your work sites. Please contact her directly with questions.

Screening Questions: Ingham County is requiring all essential businesses to complete screenings of employees or clients entering our buildings. You will now find this screening form at the main agency. Please sign in and answer the screening questions. 

Supplies:  United Way provided us with 5 gallons of hand sanitizer from Red Cedar Spirits. We are dividing the sanitizer into smaller containers for your use at our residential sites and if you are in the community. At the main agency front desk, you can find gloves and hand sanitizer.  Please take up to 5 gloves and one hand sanitizer per person.  Orders for additional supplies have been placed. I will let everyone know when additional masks arrive.

Staff support:  J Munley and Andrea have worked to set up Zoom calls to help support staff. You should receive an email invite to participate. This is a great way to share stories and tips for navigating these unique times.   As a follow up to his last piece on community trauma, J. authored another excellent piece on building a personal resilience strategy. I encourage you to check out the iChill application from the Trauma Resource Institute. This time can be used to create a new space that includes pause and reflection for our own personal well-being.

New Programs! Our Behavioral Health and JJ Division received notification of new grant dollars to support the following programs:

E3 Grant (Expanding, Enhancing Emotional Health Program)- Pilot Program

Co-located at Waverly High School and Child and Family Charities

Provide onsite mental health and substance use disorder therapy to students and families year-round. This program is being funded by MDHHS as a pilot program to assist with startup costs to build a free-standing clinic within the school itself. 3.5-year contract.

Pilot Programs for Juvenile Justice Diversion

Located within the Juvenile Justice Division serving Ingham and Eaton Counties

Will fund a full-time therapist to provide Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and substance use prevention therapy to juvenile justice clients, as well as expand the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) to serve 7-17-year-old and their families. This program is being funded by MDHHS as a pilot program to assist with startup costs to build a sustainable juvenile justice diversion program that is rooted in evidenced based practices. 1.5-year pilot contract.

Thank you all for everything you are doing to continue our services for those who need us most. Please let me know if you need anything, 734-476-4027.

Appreciate you all,

Julie

 

3/23/2020

Dear Child and Family Charities’ Community,

We continue to monitor how to best deliver critical services during this time. Today the Governor released the following: “Temporary requirement to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life,” or the “stay home, stay safe” order.” This order takes effect on March 24, 2020 at 12:01 am, and continues through April 13, 2020 at 11:59 pm. In order to meet this request, we will extend the period to keep staff working from home until at least April 13 to provide necessary and essential services. Per our call today with DHHS, they clarified that in-person parenting time, sibling and home visits are suspended during this time unless there are exigent circumstances. In addition, residential visits are limited. We will send the memo from DHHS as soon as we receive it.

In line with this order, we are limiting people who can be in the office and rotating times for staff who need to pick up essential items and paperwork. Please maintain social distancing of the recommended 6 feet.

This is a summary of the Governor’s Executive order: All individuals currently living within the State of Michigan are ordered to stay at home or at their place of residence. Workers who are necessary to sustain or protect life are defined as “critical infrastructure workers,” and can continue to do so in person. The governor said these organizations must take aggressive steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19—see this one-pager for additional guidance.

Critical infrastructure workers include some workers in each of the following sectors:

(a) Health care and public health.
(b) Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders.
(c) Food and agriculture.
(d) Energy.
(e) Water and wastewater.
(f) Transportation and logistics.
(g) Public works.
(h) Communications and information technology, including news media.
(i) Other community-based government operations and essential functions.
(j) Critical manufacturing.
(k) Hazardous materials.
(l) Financial services.
(m) Chemical supply chains and safety.
(n) Defense industrial base.

These workers also include:

Workers and volunteers for businesses or operations (including both and religious and secular nonprofit organizations) that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, individuals who need assistance as a result of this emergency, and people with disabilities.

The governor will evaluate the continuing need for this order prior to its expiration. In determining whether to maintain, intensify, or relax its restrictions, she will consider, among other things, (1) data on COVID-19 infections and the disease’s rate of spread; (2) whether sufficient medical personnel, hospital beds, and ventilators exist to meet anticipated medical need; (3) the availability of personal protective equipment for the health-care workforce; (4) the state’s capacity to test for COVID- 19 cases and isolate infected people; and (5) economic conditions in the state.

I will continue to communicate updates as they become available from state, local and federal sources. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out and ask. I am available and offer my cell to contact me anytime, 734-476-4027.

Thank you for your dedication to keeping our community safe and healthy,

Julie Thomasma, Ph. D., Chief Executive Officer
Child and Family Charities
www.childandfamily.org
O: (517) 882-4000, ext. 123
M: (734) 476-4027

Related Links:
https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98163-522625--,00.html
https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90705-522626--,00.html

 

3/23/2020

School Closure Food Service Program

 

3/17/2020

Dear Child and Family Charities’ Community,

Thank you for your understanding and patience during this time when we are all doing our part to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) through social distancing. With the goal to limit the number of staff in the office, each Division is taking additional precautions and have implemented responses consistent with guidelines from our Governor, CDC, and MDHHS. In addition, with schools canceled, we recognize and respect that many staff need to care for children at home.

Effectively immediately through April 5th, the following services are canceled:

  • Respite childcare services at the Family Growth Center at Bethlehem Church (Foodbank remains open with pick up at the door);
  • Accountability hearings for Teen Court;
  • All groups including Strengthening Families, Too Good for Drugs, Prime for Life, PRIDE, and Foster Parent Orientation;
  • Due to limited staffing, we are asking donors to hold in-kind donations for the time being.

Currently we are assessing virtual therapy options for our substance abuse program and mental health services.

Until further notice, MDHHS implemented an additional health screening for all staff and any visitors of our residential homes at Angel House and at Kevin J. Moody Youth Home, Gateway Youth Services and for staff completing home visits. We extended this screening to parental visits at the agency to help ensure staff and client safety:

When scheduling a visit with a child/family, staff should ask the following three screening questions pertaining to all household members:

  1. Is there any reason you have been instructed to self-quarantine or isolate? If yes, why?
  2. Have you had contact with any Persons Under Investigation (PUIs) for COVID- 19 within the last 14 days, OR with anyone with known COVID-19?;
  3. Do you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection (e.g., cough, sore throat, fever, or shortness of breath)?

If all household members indicate no to all three questions, it is expected that staff complete the home visit. Clients should be advised to cancel their visit if answers to any of the screening questions change between scheduling and the time the visit occurs. If any household members indicate travel, contact, or symptoms as outlined above, the in-home visit should be postponed/rescheduled.

If in-person contact cannot occur, staff should utilize other available resources to make contact with children and families, including phone calls, skype, or other technology that allows verification of child safety and the ability to address concerns of parents and caregiver.

We will continue to maintain a healthy work environment with new procedures that includes: limiting items in family visitation rooms, increased hand-washing, sanitation between all visits and social distancing (work remotely and virtual meetings only).

As a reminder on using good hygiene practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases, please use the following guidelines:

  • Stay home if you are sick, and advise others to do the same.
  • Always cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue or sleeve.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and warm water are not available.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (computers, keyboards, desks, etc.).

Remember, in effort to keep our CFC community informed of potential exposure and monitor risk, all reports of diagnosis or exposure to COVID-19 should be made to CV19@childandfamily.org. Questions or concerns can be sent to this email address. A response will follow within 24 hours. We will continue to send updates as new information becomes available.

Thank you for your dedication to keeping our community safe and healthy,

Julie Thomasma, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer