Read below to learn more about how COVID-19 is impacting people in our community and how YOU can help.
We are indeed in unprecedented times. It’s challenging for all of us as we adjust to a new normal.
The uncertainty and change is especially hard on children. School is not in session, connection with friends isn't easy, and playing outside is almost impossible - it's really stressful. Add to that the fact that for many kids, home is not a safe place and the situation becomes more urgent. At the moment, at-risk kids are behind closed doors, away from the eyes of the caring community and the resources they depend on day to day. Schools are the single largest source of referrals to the Agency and right now, kids aren’t there.
We are worried and we know you share these worries.
Social isolation and financial hardship are leading risk-factors for child abuse and neglect. For many vulnerable children and families, the increased isolation and financial hardship are worsening every day. In addition, many families are experiencing these challenges for the first time. The longer the pandemic lasts, the greater the risk of children being maltreated and families struggling to cope.
Your support can help keep kids safe during the COVID-19 crisis and ensure families have the support they need. In addition, you will help us be prepared to offer support to new families that come to us during this incredibly difficult time.
The Foundation is working closely with front line staff at the Agency to determine the immediate needs of families and how to best address those needs now and as they evolve. We have heard that the main worries families have are being able to meet the day to day needs of their children – food, clothing, shelter – and we are making funds available to help families, many of whom were already experiencing poverty, unemployment and precarious housing.
We have three main areas of need at the moment:
- Emergency Support for Families - Day to day support for needs like groceries, diapers, formula, hand sanitizer, soap etc
- Emergency Support for Youth - Youth in care and out of care who may be living independently or attending post-secondary education and require support for housing or other essential needs.
- Support for Families for Activities & Education – Isolated at home, many families lack suitable developmentally appropriate activities for their children or the technology required to participate in online learning offered by the school board and counselling offered by many mental health providers. As face to face access visits may not be possible due to physical distancing measures, technology is helping families stay in touch and we are doing what we can to ensure families have the tools they need to maintain a connection.
Your support will make it possible to meet the emerging needs of children, youth, and families. By working together, we hope we can limit the impact of this crisis on our most vulnerable families and community members.
We know it’s critical that we keep the lines of communication open as the crisis unfolds and we learn more. Make sure to follow the Foundation on social media for the most up-to-date information.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND REGULAR UPDATES ON THE AGENCY RESPONSE TO THE CRISIS PLEASE VISIT WWW.FACSWATERLOO.ORG