As we all adjust our lives, both personal and professional, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our team at CHS continues its work—albeit in new and creative ways. The uncertainty of our new reality creates additional challenges for the vulnerable and already traumatized children, families and adults with whom we work every day.
In the second of a series, we will explore how the COVID-19 outbreak impacts our clients and our work. Today we hear from our Post Adoption team who is working hard to provide services and support to adoptive families.
How COVID-19 impacts the Post Adoption Program at CHS
We created our Post Adoption Program nearly ten years ago with the hope to provide specialized support to adoptive families. We know children who have been adopted come from pasts of disrupted relationships, exposure to trauma, and very little control over anything in their lives. We work with families to provide what these children and teenagers need most; safety, consistency in care, and healthy relationships. The current COVID-19 pandemic has directly affected the most
triggering elements that we see with children of trauma. We now see disruptions in all routines, parents who are having to navigate new and uncertain situations while providing care, and the sudden removal of social supports that help them learn and emulate healthy relational behavior.
Our staff are continuing Parent Coaching services using virtual and phone meetings to continue those supportive relationships. We are no longer able to support our families with in person respite programming, but are still providing fun and skill-building activities through twice weekly Facebook Live events. We are continuing our programming for parental workshops, just switching to a safe and accessible online format. In these ways, CHS has been able to provide that breadth of support we have for the past decade to post adoptive families.
The challenges for us still remain. We are missing the in-person interactions that allow us to better understand each parent and child and thus guide them. We know a Facebook live event does not provide the same level of engagement as a full day of programming; nor are parents receiving the benefit of a full day where qualified staff are caring for their children. Our staff consistently encourage self-care for our parents and time to tend to one’s own needs to manage the stress of parenting a child of trauma, however finding that time and space has been made more difficult in the current environment. Parents are struggling to create structure and predictability in an ever-changing situation.
The COVID-19 pandemic challenges are great and impactful, however, the Post Adoption program was designed to help others overcome their own challenges. Cornerstones of our program include adapting to the client’s needs and being creative in service delivery. Our families are used to sudden changes in behavior and emotions and we have become practiced in coaching them through tough times. The effects of this pandemic are novel and scary, but our Post Adoption team has been helping families manage the novel and scary for nearly 10 years; we feel confident we can continue to be that uniquely adoption-competent and trauma-informed service provider for them now and moving forward. Our partners and supporters make it possible for us to continue to provide; thanks for your support.