As with all organizations at this time, SSFNC has had to make adjustments to how we serve families in an effort to support Covid-19 containment.
As you may know, SSFNC serves families already at highest risk for poor health and education outcomes. During this time, it’s very important for us to continue supporting families as we know that under resourced communities suffer exponentially more than others in times of societal crisis.
Many families we serve already experience the stress of food, housing and employment insecurity. Some do not have access to medical insurance or may be fearful to access medical services. Many families already navigate mental health concerns. A crisis like this very likely will send some at-risk families over the edge.
As a precaution, we made the important decision to suspend face-to-face services in our building. Our last day of services in our center was Friday, March 13th and we are supporting families during this time remotely, yet more intensively in the following safe ways:
Weekly delivery of fresh and non-perishable, healthy groceries and cleaning supplies. We estimate that children in our program receive up to 2/3 of their nutrition at school. Now that they aren’t attending school, this is big additional financial burden on families, especially when job security is uncertain and many have multiple children home from school to feed. Groceries focus on healthy whole foods, grains, legumes, dairy, eggs and fruits and vegetables. Cleaning products to disinfect homes are also in short supply in our community so we are mixing bottles of bleach solution which are included with the grocery drop.
Increased Home Visiting support via phone. The pandemic has created stress for all of us and for those already experiencing toxic stress, the crisis can feel even more overwhelming. Home Visitors will be checking in with all of their families 2-3 times a week and doing their best to support and connect families with the resources they need to get through this. We know that having an ally can serve as a life-line for families during times of crisis and we are committed to making sure families in our program feel more supported than ever.
Home school materials and virtual classroom lessons. We aim not to loose ground on the amazing progress children in our program are making in our Therapeutic Early Childhood program. Teachers are preparing lessons for families to do at home based on individual child needs. Packets are delivered each week with the grocery items and teachers are doing video lessons on YouTube to maintain a regular connection with their students. Check out our virtual classrooms on YouTube! Teachers are also checking in with families each week and tailoring their lesson plans to the needs of the families in their classes.
Virtual therapeutic support. The majority of children at SSFNC have an identified developmental need that is addressed weekly on-site via speech, occupational, play or music therapies. We are working with our therapy providers to set-up virtual therapy support for families via Zoom or Doxy.me.
Let’s Keep Nurturing Strong FUTURES Together!
If you are able to step up and make a special gift at this time, it would go a long way in assuring SSFNC strives in our mission to nurture, strengthen and support families in these uncertain times. Wishing you health and safety. Thank you!