Memo to Parents and Caregivers
March 18, 2020
TFI is working to ensure we continue to provide services to you and your children in this period of COVID-19 concern, while protecting the health and safety of your child, you and our staff. The following changes have been made for through the end of March 2020. Please note that things continue to be very fluid, and new changes may be implemented with little to no notice.
All TFI offices are only open to the public by appointment. You may reach your child’s worker through their dedicated office number.
Before any in person visit, staff are contacting both parties to ask a series of questions to screen for health of the family. This may happen at your front door for an unannounced visit. TFI has a
responsibility to ensure the safety of the children in our care (including those placed in parental homes) and so we still may need to see and talk to children even if there are possible COVID-19 symptoms. We will do our best to practice social distancing as per CDC guidelines.
Worker/Child visits for children in Out of Home care.
- To ensure the safety of children in their placement, in most cases, workers will be doing a technology assisted visit to contact the child (video or telephone). This will be a video visit if
possible. All children will be seen or visited in person or through a tele/video visit in March.
- If the child is an infant or developmentally cannot use tele communications, staff will make a follow up phone call with their primary medical physician, mental health provider, school or
community provider that may have seen the child to obtain information on safety or how they feel the child is doing.
- If there is a specific safety concern, workers will be seeing the children.
- Most visits will be done via a technology assisted visit.
- Teams will contact the parents and the caretaker or placement resource to determine if anybody is sick or has been diagnosed with COVID-19
- If so, the visit will take place via TEAMS or phone/video between the two parties.
- If there is no sign of sickness the visit can be face to face unless the parent requests the visit be done via phone/video.
- No one except for the child’s parents are allowed to attend visitation at this time.
- All Sibling visits will be completed by tele communication or video.
In person Child Visits with Relatives or others that are not permanency resources are cancelled until further notice unless court ordered.
- We will try to make arrangements for telephone/video visits.
Permanency Plan/Child and Family Meetings
- If at all possible, all meetings will be done via video or teleconferencing.
- If parents do not have a teleconferencing option, a worker will be present with you to connect to the teleconference.
- Parents are the only ones who can request a permanency planning meeting to be rescheduled.
- We will continue with our current drug testing process for all court ordered testing.
Take Care of Yourself
- Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Get enough sleep
- Use positive stress reduction techniques such as meditation, reading, or exercise. Avoid negative stress coping skills such as using alcohol and illegal drugs.
- We know that this is a difficult time for you and your children. What has been happening is unprecedented in modern times.
- Anxiety and fear are common reactions, and the stress of this situation is intense. If you need extra support, please reach out to your TFI case manager with what is going on. We will do our
best to help you.
- If you have specific needs for food, utilities, housing, childcare, etc., please let us know that as well. Again, we will do our best to help you.
- If you have a child in DCF custody in your home, and you or anyone in your household becomes ill with COVID-19 symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, fever, sore throat), please stay home, call your doctor and get direction on being tested. Please also notify your case manager immediately if anyone in your household tests positive.