COVID 19 RESOURCES AND RESPONSE
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COVID 19 RESPONSE: MANAGING THE CRISIS, PROTECTING YOUR FAMILY, SHARING OUR RESOURCES
We at Prevent Child Abuse New York know that these are unprecedented times for all of us--including New York's children and their families.
Families who were already struggling to make ends meet before the national emergency are being pushed closer to the edge by having their work schedules disrupted and children sent home from school. The already existing issues of a lack of available and affordable child care, lack of affordable and accessible health insurance, and the hit to the economy that will see many losing their jobs, are just compounding things. And all of that adds up to a whole lot of stress--stress that cuts across almost all barriers and can create increasingly tense situations for households all across New York State.
The good news is that there are things we can do--to help our own families and to help others, without breaking health department recommendations and guidelines.
Our work here at Prevent Child Abuse New York is rooted in the Protective Factors Framework. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what that means, the framework is a research-informed approach to increase family strengths, enhance child development, and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. We work to engage families, programs, and communities in building the five protective factors:
Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
Concrete Support in Times of Need
Social Emotional Competence of Children
During this time of increased stress and uncertainty, there is a possibility that incidents of abuse and neglect could increase. But there is also the possibility, that by reaching (safely) out to our neighbors and providing comfort, love, and support that we can build the strength of those families, and in turn, those communities, and prevent abuse from happening.
Here are some ideas:
Know who lives in your neighborhood and check in on those who may need your help, preferably through notes, phone calls, or texts. Offer a kind word, to share from your toilet paper stash or have your kids draw pictures or make art projects for elderly neighbors.
If you are able, order takeout from small, local restaurants and shoppes to keep them in business and help keep them from having to lay off workers.
If you know you are in good health and have not been exposed to anyone with the virus, offer to help with child care for a parent who does not have any resources.
Create groups on social media or through FaceTime for your neighborhood, your schools, and your kids' friends. Maintain social contact through these avenues.
If you belong to faith-based or social support organizations such as a church or regularly attend 12-step programs, find those programs online. Many are offering streaming services or online resources for when people are unable to actually get out.
Send a card or a note to brighten up someone's day.
Get involved in a group or organization that provides advocacy for issues facing children and families. It may not help in the present crisis, but bolstering our safety nets and necessary services, like affordable and adequate child care; health care for vulnerable populations; and protections for front-line and essential workers, like health care workers and EMS professionals will make our whole state stronger in the event of a future crisis--and make children safer on a daily basis.
There is so much more we can all do. And for 40 years, Prevent Child Abuse has been doing it--with your help. Currently, the majority of our staff has been working remotely to limit exposure and help minimize the spread of the disease. But we are continuing to work to support New York's families and responding to the needs of the community as best we can.
We also have a great deal of information on our website that can help you through these difficult times:
Protective Factors information: https://preventchildabuseny.org/resour/learn-about-prevention
Parenting Resources: https://www.preventchildabuseny.org/resour/parents/parenting-resource-organization
Online Database for Support Organizations in Your Community: https://www.preventchildabuseny.org/pcany_programs/search
The most up-to-date and scientific information and recommendations on COVID 19: www.cdc.gov
And for additional information related to parenting through the COVID 19 Crisis, follow us on Facebook (@preventchildabuseny) and sign up for our e-news for ongoing parenting information. You can sign up through this link.
And finally, please check out this great guide for parenting through the coronavirus pandemic by Bob Sege.
Most of our staff can be reached through their regular email addresses. Please be patient with our response times, though most of our work will go on as normal. In the meantime, it is our intention to keep serving the public as we have been for 40 years--to strengthen New York families!
Stay safe and be well-
Timothy Hathaway, Executive Director