Building Communities of Hope in a time of great challenge

How we are supporting our families and partners in responding to COVID-19

In communities across our nation and around the globe, children and families are facing unprecedented challenges as daily life is disrupted with no clear end in sight. During these troubling times, hope is our greatest asset.

At Casey Family Programs we are committed to supporting the children, families and partners that we serve each day and playing our part in the collective response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

As a national operating foundation that works in all 50 states, Washington D.C, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and with tribal nations across North America, Casey Family Programs is focused on meeting the immediate needs of the children and families we work with directly, and we have taken steps to make sure that support can continue in a safe and effective manner.

We are also focused on creating resources and sharing information with the many partners in child and family well-being systems across the nation who are struggling with a quickly evolving set of unforeseen challenges, including child protective services, courts, policymakers, nonprofits, faith communities and other philanthropic organizations.

The lessons we have learned in supporting the transformational change that is improving outcomes and well-being of children and families in communities across America can and should guide our path forward through and beyond today’s crisis.

We believe that starts with strong leadership that can set the tone of calm and care. It relies on being creative and challenging outdated assumptions in the face of new evidence and understandings. It requires data-informed decisions that achieve the outcomes families need. And it includes open and regular communication with staff, service providers and other partners who share the goal of helping children and families in need.

Ultimately, today’s challenge will require all of us to assess how can we improve child safety and family stability; how can we improve our responses to calls to the child protection hotlines; how can we improve screening decisions to prioritize child protective service involvement with children and families; and how can we best rely on the strength and supports of neighbors in communities to help families who need it.

Casey Family Programs believes this time of uncertainty and doubt requires us to use what we’ve learned about the importance of all sectors — government, business, nonprofit and faith-based, philanthropic and the community members themselves — working together to create hope for all children and families.

None of us alone has all the answers. But by working together and sharing our knowledge, experience, expertise and resources, we can adjust to these new realities and develop effective and equitable approaches that will keep children and families safe today, and shape the course of our efforts in the long run.

The health and well-being of our staff at Casey Family Programs is also a top priority for the foundation. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we closed all of our offices across the country, and our staff are now working from home, including our social workers.

We have eliminated all nonessential travel and are using video conferencing and other methods to limit contact with others while still performing all of the critical functions needed to support our children, families and partners.

In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to find new ways to partner with and support the federal, tribal, state and local organizations and leaders who are on the front lines of ensuring child safety and family stability in the communities they serve. We are committed to helping them respond, adjust and overcome the known and unforeseen challenges they face.

Through this all, we are committed to supporting those with lived experiences in the child welfare system — including all of our children, alumni of foster care, birth parents, kinship families, foster families, and adoptive families — in shaping the response to the challenges that are impacting our communities.

We know that during times of crisis, it is the love and support we find in our families, communities and cultures that provide the strength we need to keep moving forward. The nature of this virus makes it difficult for us to join together physically, but nothing will prevent our minds and hearts from joining together across the space that separates us to continue to build Communities of Hope for our children’s future