MARCH 2020 NEWSLETTER
From The Executive Director
As we try to keep things normalized for the children and young people we serve, we recognize this time is anything but normal.
for helping Friends of Children do its work in a time of great constraints. You help us make this vital work- especially during critical times - possible.
Thanks for lifting us up so that we can do the same for them.
The concept of a safety net is one that many of us grapple with during this unprecedented time of challenge created by Covid-19. Friends of Children is observing dramatic change in the lives of foster care alumni being supported by our
. The young people FOCUS serves (who have aged out of foster care) know trauma, crisis and uncertainty all too well. Their past suffering is compounded today by the isolation caused by the necessity of social distancing.
FOCUS continues to be on the front lines connecting with young people to break through isolation and to make certain we understand their emergency needs. Although restricted in having direct contact, FOCUS volunteers are stepping up their efforts to connect and consistently checking in with our young adults. Staff is reaching out to other providers through phone and virtual methods to offer support and maintain the most current information on resources.
This crisis period underscores just how fragile a safety net there is for youth aging out of foster care, and has shed a powerful light on how poorly prepared our child welfare system is to take care of children and young people.
Our young people have been living paycheck to paycheck, and do not have family to support them in a time of financial and other hardships. We have been connecting with every young person in our program to provide emotional support and to connect them to critical and valuable resources.
Here are some ways young people are being affected.
- One young person in her senior college year will not have a graduation. She had an on campus job that has abruptly ended. She continues to stay in her dorm room for a while until she finds alternative housing. Already accepted for a paid internship, she had to give it up as it can’t be done remotely. She has applied to an MSW program but that, too, seems up in the air. Her mentor is working alongside her to help her find housing. FOCUS staff is helping her access financial and other resources.
- Several of our young people are concerned that they can't pay for their utilities, rent, car insurance or food now that they are without a job. FOCUS is connecting to community resources and is tapping into Friends of Children’s Foster Dignity funds. But these resources are running extremely low.
- The young people we serve are experiencing heightened anxiety due to their lack of a safety net. We are grateful to be in a partnership program with GRITX, developed by the University of California at San Francisco, that provides self-guided online exercises to youth who are managing strong feelings, anxiety and more.
Throughout, our mission remains the same. We continue to advocate for children and young people in, and aging out of foster care systems to promote their long-term well being. We are connecting with our volunteers and colleagues to make sure our net of safety is broadly cast. Friends of Children has always done whatever it takes to help young people thrive. In this crisis, we are doing everything we can to help young people
. We need your help! Please contribute to Friends of Children and help us assist young people with basic needs.
- Car Insurance
- Housing Arrangements
- Utility Bills
- Phone Bills
- Household Supplies
- Personal Care Supplies
Thank you for supporting Friends of Children in these uncertain times! The need has never been greater.
Best to you always,