Posted: March 17, 2020
By: Sharon Hirsch, Prevent Child Abuse NC President & CEO
We recognize how stressful these uncertain times can be and thank you for your focus on the work.
Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina (PCANC) is weighing the possible impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on our partners, the children and families they serve, and our team. We have also been closely following the international and national information about the virus and regularly monitoring the NC Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) websites for the most up-to-date information.
In the coming weeks we will strive to balance moving the work forward, while also making the best safety decisions for our team, partners and families. At this point in time, we have asked all staff to practice the social distancing necessary to protect our most vulnerable populations, including working from home. Our staff can still be reached as usual, though we do plan to reschedule all in-person trainings and site visits. Whenever feasible, we will utilize Zoom video conferencing for meetings and training events.
For Child Abuse Prevention Month (CAPM), we encourage partners and individuals to follow CDC recommendations and shift plans for recognizing CAPM, including postponing gatherings like press conferences, pinwheel plantings, family events, etc., for a later date. Stay tuned to PCANC’s social media channels for updates on CAPM and how you can still have an impact.
Our Connections Matter Campaign, which launched last fall, emphasizes the importance of positive connections within our community as a key strategy for building strong families and thriving children.
Though social distancing may separate us physically, there are many ways we can continue to stay connected – and it is more important than ever to support children and families during this stressful and uncertain time.
Here are a few ways you can help:
- Contact Senator Burr (202) 224-3154 and Senator Tillis (202) 224-6342 to ask if they’ll pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Some key elements of the emergency bill include: free COVID-19 testing for everyone who needs a test; 10 days of immediately available paid sick leave for COVID-19 related illness, caregiving or quarantine; 12 weeks of emergency paid leave for COVID-19 related illness, caregiving or quarantine; increased funding for SNAP, WIC and emergency food assistance programs, as well as flexibility for states to ensure access to food and more. The House passed the bill last week and the Senate was expected to vote on it as early as Monday, March 16. Check out this blog from our friends at the NC Families Care Coalitionto learn more.
- Watch Prevent Child Abuse America President & CEO Dr. Melissa Merrick issue a special statement on COVID-19 impact on nation’s children and families and check out their page of resources for parents, children, the community, schools and businesses.
- Contact your local food bank, diaper bank, and other community supports to ask how you can help given that more families may experience food insecurity and financial uncertainty in the coming days, weeks and months.
We appreciate that a great deal of work and preparation has been put into the planning of meetings and events and understand that postponing and rescheduling events/meetings will create additional work for us all. Thanks for your grace and patience as we reflect upon the best approaches for our organization and community. Please reach out to us if you should have further questions.
Remember: wash your hands for 20 seconds, wipe down surfaces, practice social distancing – and be a connection by checking in on each other in a safe, healthy manner.