Faith-Based Coffee Update

May 22, 2020
Meeting Updates
Faith-Based Coffee does not meet during
the summer months of June, July or August.
Please watch for an announcement of the fall meeting later this summer.
Meeting Summary - May 20
Many thanks to everyone who joined the online Faith-Based Coffee meeting on May 20. We had approximately 60 participants. Please press the red button below to access a recording of the meeting. The recording begins just after the meeting started and includes the summary from the break-out groups. This recording will only be available until Wednesday, May 27, 2020.
Announcements and Resources
Teen Talk is Open
Kris Henriksen shared that Teen Talk, the crisis line for youth in Clark County, is open. Youth can access the line in any of several ways:

In addition, Kris has 250 support kits available for delivery to any middle/high school teen who lives in Clark County. Each kit contains a journal, a Peppy Pen, a kit to make a resilience cheerleader for stressful times, a stress squishy, info on how to handle stress, and a small yummy treat.

Kris has already sent out 200 kits, so don't wait if you know someone who would benefit. To request a kit, any youth, parent or caregiver can email Kris at kris.henriksen@clark.wa.gov . Include the name(s) and mailing address(es) for the youth.
Compassion Vancouver Heights, a free medical and dental clinic scheduled for
July 18, has been CANCELLED to be safe during COVID-19.
Clark County Department of Community Services Receives COVID Response Funds
Rebecca Royce announced that Clark County Department of Community Services is receiving COVID funding from the Community Services Block Grant. The Community Action Advisory Board elected to use this money to bolster existing community services: the Clark County Food Bank, Volunteer Lawyers Program, 211 Info, Clark College Financial Wellness, Partners in Careers' Career Academy and the SHARE Hunger Response Program.
Virtual Baccalaureate Program for Evergreen School District Seniors
Phil Ball, on behalf of the Evergreen Public Schools Baccalaureate Planning Committee, invited participants to share the announcement of the Virtual Baccalaureate at 4 pm on June 7 via YouTube. Faith Communities are encouraged to link to the virtual Baccalaureate on their Facebook and social media sites. If you would like to participate in sharing the event, email Melanie.Green@evergreenps.org .
Turn adversity into resilience:
Help others heal from child sexual abuse as a #SHINE Ambassador
The Clark County Children's Justice Center wants to shed light on the issue of child sexual abuse. They are looking for adult survivors of childhood abuse who can pass on messages of healing and hope to others.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact  Amy Russell .

Foster Parents Needed Now!
Catholic Community Services International is seeking foster families for children. For information, please contact Stephaniebro@ccsww.org or call (360) 836-2556.
Featured DIscussions
Child Abuse and Mandatory Reporting During COVID-19
Presented by Amy Russell, executive director for the Children's Justice Center.

Reports of child abuse are down by 50 percent during COVID-19. Experts suspect this is b ecause children are not attending school or other activities where potential abuse may be identified. Other data indicates child abuse may be higher than ever:
  • Online exploitation of children is up 100 percent since COVID started
  • Reports from emergency rooms indicate injuries from abuse are more extensive and extreme
  • Domestic Violence has increased, which is traumatic for children who are present or who may intervene

Recent data indicates that children at greatest risk of abuse are those who have:
  • Disabilities (4 - 6 times the risk of abuse)
  • Lack of connection
  • Three or more siblings
  • Increased mental health needs, a history of suicide attempts, self-harm, depression or past sexual or physical abuse

What you can do
  • Watch for signs of potential abuse such as bruises, burns or injuries, or signs of neglect, such as being inappropriately dressed for the weather, being alone, dirty, or hungry, when connecting with students on-line

  • Report suspected abuse to Region 6 hotline: (866) 764-2233 or to the

  • Washington state reporting hotline: (866) 363-4276

Our Child Care Crisis and How You Can Help
P resented by Debbie Ham, executive director of SELF (Support for Early Learning and Families)

We all want to see a return to a strong healthy economy, but in order for parents and caregivers to return to on-site work, the availability of safe, affordable and dependable early care and education (ECE) for their children is a critical part of the equation. Unfortunately, our ECE systems, which were struggling prior to COVID, are currently facing an enormous crisis that will negatively impact children, families and our community going forward. If we want to support a thriving economy, we must place child care at the forefront of our priorities. And we can’t wait.

Y ou can help by sharing a story that will help educate our community about this critical issue.

Please send a short, home-made written or video statement about your (or your clients’) experiences with child care and early learning. Videos can be emailed straight from a cell phone to Taylor.beckstrand@selfwa.org. The videos will be spliced together and used on social media and as an educational tool to help people understand the reach and impact of this issue. The following talking points/guidelines can be used for the videos:

  • Please make sure the person submitting the video knows that SELF/SWEL and their partners will be using it on social media and possibly on their websites and in newsletters.
  • The purpose is to share real stories of people in our communities who are impacted by policy decisions related to early care and education.
  • The video should convey the impact specifically of the child care crisis for providers and families
  • The videos need to be short - a maximum of one to two minutes. So, messaging needs to be succinct and clear. 
  • If someone wants to talk about more than one topic, that’s fine. Just keep the video short and clear. People can always submit more than one on different topics.
  • Anyone receiving this email could also do a video.
  • Please email the videos to Taylor.beckstrand@selfwa.org
  • SELF needs videos as early as next week.  

Additional background:

For many years, early care and education (ECE) providers, including public agencies, small and large business and non-profits, have struggled to operate with a funding gap that left many programs with a negative cash flow. Why? Only one percent of the Washington state budget supports ECE programs, compared to 50 percent for K-12 and 10 percent for higher education. Low state investment and increasing requirements have strained all ECE programs, and coupled with COVID, it is now crippling the child care system. The added burden of closure due to COVID has led to very difficult decisions for many agencies, and this will impact availability for working parents. For example, ESD 112 has closed ALL birth-to-five child care programs they operated in our area. Many other child care centers have closed their doors permanently. Even those that will re-open are struggling to figure out how to pay for additional staff, physical space, and sanitation necessary to safely care for much smaller class sizes than they did pre-COVID.

Part of the problem is the way child care is funded: For low-income families, funding comes from the federal Child Care Development Block Grant. Although Governor Inslee recently signed a bill to increase the state subsidy for child care to 65 percent of the market rate, this rate is based on fees charged by local programs, not the actual cost of providing quality care. To help cover this financial gap, most providers raised the cost of child care for working families who are ineligible for subsidy. As a result, the cost of care for these families has skyrocketed: many families pay as much for child care as it costs for one year of in-state college tuition. This gap also left many programs operating with negative margins, which put them at risk when the strain of COVID hit.

Available, sustainable, quality child care and early childhood education has been an issue in our community and across the nation for years. Yet, it is a critical tool in our fight against childhood trauma and toxic stress, and is a proven system for increasing literacy, school and lifetime success for children.

Now is the time to raise community awareness, so the system can be fixed. I encourage to join this effort to bring attention to this important issue today. Please feel free to share this invitation with others.

Debbie Ham can be reached at Debbie.Ham@SelfWA.org
More information can be found on the SELF website .
Compassion and Safety for All - Campaign and Outreach
Presented by Diana Avalos-Leos, founder of the Latino Youth Conference.

Through a collaborative effort by the Latino Youth Conference, NAACP, LULAC and the Latino Community Resource Group, a culturally-inclusive communication campaign to share safety information about COVID-19 and to support resilience among communities of color is being launched. The visuals and messaging were informed and tested by members of their key audiences.

Future efforts by this partnership will focus on parenting, mental health, wellness, education and learning, and more. In addition to culturally-informed graphics and messaging for COVID-19, the partners are launching a youth video contest aimed at preventing substance use.

You can contact Diana to learn more at clark.co.latinoyouthconference@gmail.com
T he Healthy Communities Newsletter is published the first week of each month.
To submit announcements or share information, please send complete information or attach a high resolution pdf file to Cyndie.Meyer@clark.wa.gov by the 20th of the month prior.
All submissions will be screened and may be edited prior to publication.

If you would like to receive the Healthy Communities Newsletter , please email Jan.Dolph@clark.wa.gov
For other formats, contact the Clark County ADA Office
Voice 654.397.2322 / Relay 711 or 800.833.6388 / Email ADA@clark.wa.gov