ACH adjusts care during COVID-19 outbreak

Right now, times are scary for many as the world is dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak. In this time of darkness, ACH is working to bring light, positivity and security to the families and children of Tarrant County. We’re also joining with others to bring needed resources.

For ACH, “Kids can’t wait,” is not just a mantra, but what drives our staff to adapt during this crisis to provide the best care.

FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION

In ACH’s Foster Care and Adoption program, staff is working to maintain social distancing as much as possible, including working with therapists to have more teleconferencing sessions with families.

However, ACH follows the law and is still doing home visits for biological family visits, as does the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services 

“ACH’s foster care, adoption and kinship staff will continue to ensure all our homes are safe and all children and families are cared for,” said Stella Maggs, Director of Foster Care and Adoption. “We are supporting and thinking outside the box to provide whatever our clients need at any time. It’s a new experience for all.”

Families Together

ACH’s Families Together program is also working to incorporate social distancing as much as possible. Families Together provides temporary housing for mothers and children who have been displaced due to domestic violence.

Staff have been modeling social distancing by staying six feet away from each other as well as keeping clients informed on safe and healthy practices.

“We remain in communication and present for our clients,” said Olga Luna, a Families Together Case Manager.

Because many of the Families Together clients are dealing with depression and anxiety from trauma, Olga said the uncertainties that come from the outbreak have been especially hard on them.

“We continue to inform about reliable sources for information in the wealth of mixed messages online,” Olga said. “We are also encouraging healthy ways of coping with the stress and exploring ways to stay connected even with social distancing.”

The children in Families Together also have difficulties dealing with the outbreak and having to keep a distance from others.

“They often time will run up to staff to hug us as soon as they see us,” said Olga “With those that are old enough we are informing and encouraging distance hugs.”

Youth Emergency Shelter

The COVID-19 response puts a financial and emotional strain on many families that can lead to an increased risk of child abuse and neglect. Find out how to RECOGNIZE THE
SIGNS OF CHILD ABUSE
.

If you suspect abuse, use the Texas Abuse Hotline Website. A hotline is provided for cases requiring a response
within 24 hours.

ACH’s on-site Youth Emergency Shelter has been taking preventive measures to keep youth safe from COVID-19. The Youth Emergency Shelter, currently the only one in Tarrant County, is an immediate safe haven for youth 10-17 who are runaways, homeless or human trafficking survivors. 

Shelter staff have taken steps to create an isolation room should a child become symptomatic.

“There has been an increase use of board games, arts and craft activities, and kids are cooking with the staff more often and have especially enjoyed baking cookies and other desserts for the shelter,” said Sharon Soh, the Youth Emergency Shelter Clinical Manager.

We need your help

While our staff has been amazing at persevering through this crisis, help from our community is always appreciated and makes a big difference in the lives of our clients.

ACH is currently in need of in-kind items such as hand sanitizer, all-purpose cleaner, and Lysol/Clorox wipes to help keep our families and children clean. We also need puzzles, board games, card games, and craft supplies.  For the safety of our clients, all donations must be new and unopened and through appointment only.

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