It has now been 6 weeks since our lives have been impacted by the escalation of COVID-19. I am hoping you and your families are safe and faring well as you try to navigate these unsettling times.
On March 13th, C.A.S.E. transitioned its entire operations to telework and tele-mental health to ensure the safety of our exceptional C.A.S.E. team and to protect those families we serve. I am proud to share that we have continued to offer all our direct services through virtual platforms.
Here are just a few ways that C.A.S.E. has continued to serve the adoption, kinship and foster care community:
For Families. On a local level, our Case Managers, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiters, and Adoption-competent Therapists are supporting children and families through tele-mental health.
For Teens. C.A.S.E. is conducting a virtual weekly teen group with eight teens between the ages 15-17 participating. This has proven to be a place where isolation has been reduced and replaced with a feeling of being part of a collaborative connective circle of support. The teens have been delving into issues surrounding cultural identification, stereotypes and diverse views about adoption.
For Parents. C.A.S.E. is conducting two free, weekly virtual parent support groups; one for parents of younger children and one for parents of teens. As one mom shared after the first group, “Thanks for recommending the Saturday morning group! It was nice to connect with other families with similar (yet different) struggles. Good connections to make…as an adoptive parent, you always feel like our situation is just a little different…so it’s nice to chat with a group of people who all have that one critical thing in common.”
For Younger Children. I am also pleased to share the offering of C.A.S.E. Story Time, a new weekly Facebook event on Fridays at 11:00 am EST when I read an engaging book to our youngest audience. Children enjoy the story and their parents enjoy a short break! I am thoroughly enjoying this activity and have some more surprises ahead with this resource.
For Our National Community of Parents and Professionals. C.A.S.E. is now offering all 13 of our popular in-demand webinars for FREE for parents and professionals. More than 2,000 individuals and organizations have already taken advantage of this free offer and accessing these valuable educational resources when and where they want to view them. C.A.S.E. continues to offer our monthly live stream Strengthening Your Family webinars as well, extending free registration for the first 600 registrants.
For Child Welfare and Mental Health Professionals. C.A.S.E.’s trainings for adoption competency continue to be available for professionals across the country. We are excited that both child welfare and mental health professionals nationwide now have free access to the web-based trainings developed through the National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Initiative (NTI). Access these newly released, state-of-the-art trainings here. C.A.S.E.’s 18 Training for Adoption Competency (TAC) partners in 17 states nationwide are continuing to provide their TAC classes virtually. Our work to build a nationwide network of adoption competent professionals is continuing even in these challenging times.
Through all of this, we are seeing families working so hard to stay safe and well while helping their children comprehend the complexities of our world as we knew it drastically change without much time to be planful. Many of you have reached out to us sharing your struggles. You have communicated how difficult it has been adjusting to the “new normal” while also supporting your children, many of whom were already struggling with mental health, social and learning challenges and complex issues surrounding their adoption stories.
As Mr. Rogers once said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ’Look for the helpers. You will always find people are helping.’” I want you to know that C.A.S.E remains committed to becoming YOUR HELPER. Together we can tackle the hard times and celebrate the successes.