From the Heart: Please Support Our Social Workers & Providers During COVID-19 Outbreak
March 2020 · Coronavirus, Talk About Stress, Texas
By Cristian Garcia
Regional Vice President, Texas
LUBBOCK – As we face a season of incredible difficulty in our community, state, and nationally, the COVID-19 situation has presented new challenges for children and families working through the foster care system. We are in uncharted territory, as all facets of life are adapting to a new norm. For children with trauma and hurt, this causes more uncertainty. Through their lens of the world, this heightened situation causes our children to walk through trauma all over again.
Child welfare social workers and case managers, who have followed their heart for children, are on duty 24 hours a day ensuring children are safe. As a community coming together during a difficult time, we need to pause and say thank you to our child welfare workers, as we do for our medical and law enforcement agencies. In our offices, we are continuing to do round-the-clock work since we provide a critical service that wouldn’t otherwise be performed. We are ever grateful for our child welfare partners on the South Plains, as they are stepping up and putting their teams on the front line to ensure our communities’ children are in safe and loving environments.
At Saint Francis Ministries, it is our privilege to have the opportunity to serve 41 counties in West Texas and the Texas Panhandle and to provide services for over 750 children in the foster care system. We contract with community partners who do and have done this work for many years, and they are specially trained to care for our communities’ children who are walking through trauma. The question is, are we doing enough to ensure the protection of children at this time? We, along with many of our partners, have followed CDC, state and federal guidelines to ensure the protection of our communities’ children. It is all about safety at this time, and we specifically ask the Lubbock area to wrap around the child welfare workers who dedicate their lives to this work, day-in and day-out.
We ask you: How can you wrap around agencies and partners who do this work, while ensuring the safety of those most vulnerable in our society? Let’s begin by praying for our children, agencies, and workers who continue to do this work daily. This state of uncertainty also comes with a cost, and your donations to those who serve children in the foster care system will give an opportunity to ensure a child has a hot plate of food, enriching activities outside of school, and a safe place to sleep. I would encourage you all to reach out to those programs and providers to give them your support. The third thing we can do as a community is look at ways we can connect with agencies to use video conferencing and digital media to host craft activities, read to children, or send an uplifting message – as our children need to know they matter to us.