Child Advocates' COVID-19 Response and Protocols
Like many of you, we are paying close attention to the evolving COVID-19 situation locally and nationwide. The safety of our children, our volunteers and our staff is of the utmost importance. We are determined to do our part while also continuing to fulfill our critical mission. We are adjusting our practices and protocols to prioritize safety while still supporting our essential advocacy for children in need. As the situation evolves, this page will be updated to reflect the most recent information for our community.
For our volunteer advocates and staff, the following changes will be made to our standard child visit practices:
The fear and anxiety that many of us are feeling may only be compounded for the children and youth we serve who have also been affected by trauma, and may trigger trauma-associated thoughts/behaviors in/from the child or create additional tension in the child’s home or placement. Therefore it is vital to have eyes on the children we serve in any way possible to help them stay calm and connected. Not seeing a child in these most stressful, difficult times when connections are most valuable could undo all of the work done to create a relationship. We therefore encourage the volunteer to maintain regular contact with the child either through the use of Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, or FaceTime (or other non-video tools if needed), especially where kids are in congregate care settings, such as shelters or RTCs. We are working to ensure that the facilities where our children are housed can accommodate more frequent phone or video contact.
Trainings, Events, Info Sessions & Other Group Activities
We know that our best source of new volunteers is the recommendation of a current volunteer advocate, and we still have big goals for recruitment this year in order to help the thousands of children in Harris County who need us. So we want our current volunteers to know that we’re equipping ourselves to continue recruiting.
We are currently evaluating all future group activities and events for our children, volunteers and supporters. We will make timely, appropriate decisions prioritizing the safety of our community and will immediately inform all affected by any decisions to postpone or cancel activities.
As of 3/18/2020
We encourage all of our volunteers, staff and supporters to stay informed and protect themselves and others. As this is ongoing, we will make any needed updates to our protocol on this webpage, and will inform our staff and volunteers of urgent changes via email.
You can follow local updates and recommendations on the Harris County Public Health Department's COVID-19 website: http://publichealth.harriscountytx.gov/Resources/2019-Novel-Coronavirus
Questions? Email us with any questions or concerns you have may have.