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CFS UPDATES Regarding COVID-19

UPDATE: August 13, 2020

Dear Caregiver,

Today we bring you a brief update on the P-EBT benefits and two additional resources available to you and your family that we hope will be beneficial to you.

P-EBT Update

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic emergency (COVID-19), children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school will get extra food benefits. These food benefits are called Pandemic EBT or P-EBT benefits. As of July 31, 2020, all P-EBT eligibility decisions have been made.

P-EBT applicants who provided an email address on their application should have received a confirmation email with their eligibility determination. Appeals can be submitted online at www.cdss.ca.gov/home/pandemic-ebt or by calling the P-EBT helpline at 833-780-0353 by August 10 to 17, 2020. The state will review the appeal. This may take up to one month. The state cannot provide specific information about why an application was denied or an appeal decision by phone. However, they are still available to support address changes, PIN set up, and other inquires that require assistance.

 

California Parent & Youth Helpline®

Emotional support for families challenged by the pressures of COVID-19

Parents Anonymous® Inc. launched the California Parent & Youth Helpline® in partnership with Governor Gavin Newsom as part of his initiative to address the impacts of COVID-19. Since 1969, Parents Anonymous® has provides weekly evidence-based support groups for parents, children and youth nationwide. 7 days a week calls, 8 am – 8 pm, live chats, text. Parents and Caregivers can join a free Weekly Online Parents Anonymous® Group through the website where there are also other resources available: caparentyouthhelpline.org.

Parents and caregivers can join a free weekly online support group to explore their underlying emotions and build resiliency to strengthen their family by filling out this form. Each Parents Anonymous® Group has a trained group facilitator and parent group leader.

 

First 5 Neighborhoods for Learning Powered by Interface

Parent and Child Together (PACT) early learning program provides an opportunity for parents/caregivers to engage in structured and unstructured play with their young children with the support of a teacher who models developmentally appropriate parenting techniques and provides education and coaching. PACT offers developmentally appropriate activities for the children, as well as education for parents to help guide them through the challenges that parenting presents.

Program goals are to:

  • Promote positive parent/caregiver interaction and play
  • Promote parent/caregiver knowledge of child development
  • Promote early literacy and school readiness
  • Promote children’s social/emotional development
  • Promote parent/caregiver social/community connect and connection to resources

All services are provided virtually both in English and Spanish! For more information or to register click here.

– Your Homes with Heart Team

 

 

UPDATE: August 10, 2020

Dear Caregiver,

Be prepared! Read on to learn about valuable community resource available to all Ventura County residents, VC Alert. VC Alert is a free state-of-the-art emergency notification system that may be used to deliver time sensitive emergency alerts to residents when there is a health and/or safety emergency in your community. This service provided by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services and participating cities.

We encourage all residents to sign up for this free service and stay up to date with the latest information during a community emergency.

Registration is easy:

Text the word VCALERT to 313131

E-mail vc.alert@ventura.org

Visit www.vcalert.org

Click here for more information on the VC Alert Emergency Notification System, or contact the VC Alert Hotline at (805) 648-9283 or via email at vc.alert@ventura.org.

 

Southern California Edison Critical Care Backup Battery Program

Be prepared in the event of an unexpected power outage

Free battery for people using medical equipment for life support

SoCal Edison introduced their Critical Care Backup Battery (CCBB) Program offering a free portable backup battery to power your medical device in the event of a power outage. Should the power outage be an emergency that requires you to evacuate, this portable, temporary power may help while you relocate to safety.

What are the qualifications to participate in the program?

  • You must be identified as a Critical Care customer through SCE’s Medical Baseline program whose physician has verified on the Medical Baseline application that they require medical equipment for life-support purposes and cannot be without power for more than two hours.
  • You must be enrolled in either the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) or Family Energy Rate Assistance (FERA) program.
  • You must live in an area SCE designates as a High Fire-Risk Area. To determine if you reside in a high fire-risk zone, visit the CPUC High Fire-Risk Map at https://ia.cpuc.ca.gov/firemap/.

Click here for more information call SoCal Edison at 1-800-736-4777 or visit their website at https://www.sce.com/.

As always, we appreciate your dedication to keeping our community’s children and youth safe.

-Your Homes with Heart Team

 

UPDATE: July 24, 2020

Dear Caregiver,

We value and appreciate your caregiving skills. Here are two free services to help you connect to support and resources.

New Web and Phone Resource for Caregivers

Kinship caregivers open their hearts and homes to a relative’s child. Approximately one-third of California’s formal child welfare system (59,156 children) are living with extended family members or other relatives. However, this is not the whole story. In California there are over 285,000 children being raised by relatives outside the child welfare system. Studies have shown that kinship care can lead to better emotional health, fewer placements, and better outcomes.

KinshipCareCA.org is a free, one-stop navigator to meet the immediate needs of resource families, helping them locate nearby resources, access benefits, and/or receive general support via an online search feature and a dedicated team of highly-trained call specialists. The website aims is sponsored by United Ways of California, the state network of California United Ways (including United Way of Ventura County), and the California Department of Social Services. Call specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be reached by calling 2-1-1.

 

Peer Partner Educators

Our Peer Partner Educator (PPE) service matches you with a peer coach to guide you through the experience of being a resource family, direct you to other support services, and help you navigate the child welfare system. If you do not know who your Peer Partner Educator is, please call the service provider Kids and Families Together at 805-643-1446 ext. 253.

If you are an experienced resource family who is interested in guiding other families in this way, we invite you to apply to be a Peer Partner Educator. Click on the following link to view the job description.

Resource PPE JOB ANNOUNCEMENT.pdf

 

UPDATE: July 16, 2020

Dear Caregiver,

Today we bring you an excellent resource to help in your continued development as resource families and building upon your skills as caregivers. Kids and Families Together presents Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Caregiver Training for Resource, Kinship and Adoptive Families.

 

“TBRI® is designed for children with a history of abuse, neglect, and/or trauma. Because of their histories, it is often difficult for these children to trust the loving adults in their lives, which often results in perplexing behaviors. TBRI® offers practical tools for parents, caregivers, teachers, or anyone who works with children, to see the “whole child” in their care and help that child reach their highest potential.”

Testimonials

“TBRI® has helped me learn as a foster parent what a child needs from me, so that I can recognize when to bite my tongue and how to respond effectively. It’s helped me not take things personally and not give up on a kid. As soon as I applied TBRI®, I saw changes overnight; because I responded differently, my child did as well.” —Resource Parent

 

“I was at a loss when our foster daughter began to erupt and everything that worked with my birth children backfired with our little volcano! I was introduced to TBRI® and everything changed. Dr. Purvis became my teacher; I followed her instruction and tried to imitate her tone and cadence. I learned if I was not emotionally regulated, it was like lighter fluid on the BBQ. Every principle of TBRI® cemented my relationship with my daughter, and those impossible behaviors started melting away. We were able to adopt her and couldn’t imagine our lives without her. We now have a sibling set of three foster kiddos and TBRI® is preserving our peace and sanity. For our trauma-exposed kids, TBRI® has been the only answer.” —Adoptive Mother

 

“TBRI® has impacted how I teach my clients. I stress the importance of hydration and snacks every couple of hours to help regulate a child and make sure their needs are being met. I have implemented TBRI® strategies with my younger siblings, and though time-ins take longer, it is well worth using this technique because there is a repair and a stronger connection, and they seem more satisfied overall. It is not about power, it is about listening to them and helping them feel seen.” —KFT Therapist

Trainings will be held via Zoom on four Saturdays, from 9:30 am – 2:30 pm:

August 15th: Introduction & Overview

August 29th: Empowering Principles

September 12th: Connecting Principles

September 26th: Correcting Principles

Click on the following link for more about Kids and Families Together TBRI Caregiver Training

To register call or email:

805-643-1446, ext. 180

referrals@kidsandfamilies.org

*Please consult with your RFA social worker should you wish to count these trainings towards your annual recertification hours.

 

Additionally, we invite you to check out the most recent newsletter from your Ventura County Library: VC Reader. “Your resource for happenings at the Ventura County Library”

In this issue, you can read about VC Library Updates, Social Justice Reads, at home DIY crafts and so much more!

Join the Summer Reading Challenge 2020 – June 2 through August 22, Laptop Grand Prize Drawing for Kids & Teens.

Explore your eLibrary, discover new interests, and connect with lifelong learning resources.

Be well,

-Your Homes with Heart Team

 

UPDATE: July 01, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

Here is an important message from the California Department of Social Services with guidance on how to prevent and minimize the risk of exposure and transmission of COVID-19. Click on the light blue links for more information.

Public Health Guidance in Child Welfare Practice

Practical Information for Caregivers of Children/Youth During COVID-19

 

Visit the California COVID-19 Website for all essential guidance as well as resources

Visit the California Department of Public Health website for the most current guidance on COVID-19

Visit the CDC website for general guidance and for advice on daily life and coping.

 

REMINDERS TO STAY INFORMED

  • Keep checking the California COVID-19 website for any new information.
  • Make decisions based on medical guidance – families have experience managing illness of family members and the same principles apply.
  • Caregivers should closely partner with counties or agencies to ensure the developmental, trauma-related, and overall needs of the child/youth are being met.
  • Children/youth should only be placed into isolation or quarantine conditions (separation from others due to infection concerns) under medical or public health guidance.
  • Caregivers should be familiar with public health definitions for isolation, quarantine, and cohorting of children/youth.
  • CDPH guidelines do not include the immediate change of clothing or bathing upon returning to the home. Caregivers are not instructed to implement these practices as they are not congruent with current CDC or CDPH guidelines and doing so may be in violation of a child or youth’s personal rights.
  • Don’t forget to communicate and WASH YOUR HANDS to keep everyone safe!

Key Definitions to Stay Safe

  • Exposure: Being within six feet for 10-30 minutes or more with someone who has been diagnosed positive for COVID-19 during their period of infectiousness, starting from 48 hours before developing symptoms until time of diagnosis and isolation.
  • Isolation: Avoiding contact with others by staying in a separate bedroom when an individual has symptoms of, or tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Quarantine: separating an exposed child/youth from those not exposed and from those who are ill for a period of 14 days.
  • Cohorting: Caring for individuals with the same status in the same home and/or shared bedroom. There is no public health-defined limit to how many children/youth can be together providing they have the same status. For example, children/youth who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 can be cohorted together. Ideally, children/youth who have been exposed to
  • COVID-19 will have their own room since not all will become infected. If this is not possible, children/youth who have been exposed may share a room. They should observe social distancing and be checked for symptoms and fever daily.

Current information regarding children under the age of 18

  • Fewer than 1% of diagnosed COVID-19 patients are children/youth under the age of 18.
  • A person is contagious 48 hours before symptoms begin.
  • The most common symptoms in children are mild to moderate and include fever and coughing.
  • Of those children/youth diagnosed, 5-20% are hospitalized. These are primarily children under one year of age and those with underlying health conditions.

Any individual, youth, or household members who leave the home are in similar situations regarding the risk of exposure and potential transmission of COVID-19. A child or youth who leaves a home with or without permission and caregivers who leave the home all have risk of community-related exposure to COVID-19.

Make A Plan! Steps to Stay Safe During COVID-19

  1. Caregivers should use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for children/youth, or family members, who are diagnosed or have known exposure. If you do not have a supply of PPE for this purpose, reach out to your county agency immediately obtain a three-day supply upon identification of a positive or symptomatic case of COVID-19. Caregivers are encouraged to contact county social services for assistance in developing this plan.
  2. Develop a plan for everyday preventative actions to prevent spread of COVID- 19. The California COVID-19 website provides helpful tips to stay safe and minimize the potential for the spread of germs.
  3. Utilize Social Distancing strategies help to reduce potential exposures and transmissions. Families are encouraged to use these as a guide for following stay at home orders. CDPH guidelines do not include the immediate change of clothing or bathing upon returning to a home and doing so may be in violation of a child or youth’s personal rights.
  4. Create protocols for children/youth who have a known exposure. For example, consult the healthcare provider of the child or youth and the local public health department in order to determine whether the exposure clinically warrants quarantine or special precaution.
  5. Review the protocols for caring for symptomatic children/youth. Remember, upon medical recommendation, implement isolation protocols that ensure children/youth are not left alone and that each child/youth has extensive developmentally appropriate activities and engagement. Most children/youth will have mild to moderate symptoms. Children/youth should have access to a laptop for schoolwork and appropriate games, movie and television streaming, games, books, and trusted adults to interact with the child/youth.
  6. Identify the specific caregiver who will primarily care for the child. Caregivers should use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for a child/youth with COVID-19.
  7. For children/youth who are diagnosed, maintain contact with the child or youth’s health careprovider or local public health department.
  8. If more than one child/youth is ill, they can be “cohorted” once it is confirmed by lab testing that the children/youth have the same diagnosis.
  9. Determine if a child/youth is no longer contagious by using the three standards in place prior to releasing the individual from isolation:
  • a) There has not been a fever for 72 hours without the use of medication that reduces fevers,
  • b) Other symptoms have improved, and
  • c) It has been at least 10 days since the symptoms first appeared.

As always, please contact us through the resources listed on our website: http://homeswithheartvc.org/covid19-2/.

-Your Homes with Heart Team

 

UPDATE: June 30, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

As our community continues toward re-opening we are again seeing a rise in positive COVID-19 cases. We cannot stress enough the importance of remaining committed to social distancing procedures and continuing the fight against the spread of the virus. Recently the California Department of Public Health updated state guidelines stating, “People in California must wear face coverings” when outside the home. Click here to read updated guidelines.

As adults, we can understand and adjust to the “new normal” of day-to-day activities, like required face coverings and longer wait lines, but for our children it may not be so easy. Today we bring you a tool in the form of a children’s story, in words they can understand, that we hope will help explain and understand the why to all of these new changes.

“This story was developed to help young children and families talk about their experiences and feelings related to COVID-19 and the need to shelter in place. In the story, the coronavirus has spread to Littletown causing changes in everyone’s lives.”
“Along with the book, there is a separate booklet of specific questions that young children may have. Parents can look through this booklet and choose pages they want to include in the story or use the booklet separately with their children.”
Click on the following link to go to the story’s webpage: Fighting the Big Virus: Trinka, Sam, and Littletown Work Together. The webpage also contains a video version of the story.

 

Be well,
-Your Homes with Heart Team

UPDATE: June 23, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

We would like to share with you webinar opportunity designed especially for resource parents, presented by the Youth Law Center in partnership with the California Department of Social Services. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear from resource parents and birth parents share lessons learned and best practices for successful relationships, engagement, and how families can navigate challenges and common situations together.

QPI Webinar – Resource Families and Birth Families: Partners in Parenting

Join in on Wednesday, June 24th at 2:30pm for a 90-minute webinar entitled “Resource Families and Birth Families: Partners in Parenting.” This webinar is intended primarily for resource parents who are new to the concept or experience of co-parenting partnerships, and who may have fears or concerns related to co-parenting and visitation during COVID-19. This webinar will give attendees the opportunity to hear directly from a panel of birth and resource parents who have worked in co-parenting partnerships about their experiences and recommendations.

For more information or to register click on the link below:

https://ylcqpi.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Ng_lfMj8RfGvpRwXmtadjA

Additionally, as our community continues to re-open, we encourage you to continue to practice social distancing safety measures and remind you that drive through COVID-19 testing is available to all who would like a test.

COVID-19 drive through testing sites

No cost. No insurance needed. No appointment needed.

  • Ventura College, 4667 Telegraph Rd., Ventura CA 93003, M-F, 10-7
  • Moorpark College, 7075 Campus Rd., Moorpark, CA 93021 M-F, 10-7
  • Ford Dealership, 128 S. Hallock Dr., Santa Paula, CA 93060 M-F, 10-7
  • Oxnard College, 4000 S. Rose Ave., Oxnard, CA 93033 F-T, 10-7

Antibody Testing: The Ventura County Health Care Agency is offering free covid-19 antibody testing. The test is a blood test that tells individuals if they have been previously exposed to COVID-19 and have developed antibodies to the disease. Testing is offered at locations throughout the County. More information at: https://www.venturacountyrecovers.org/antibody/ or by calling 805-482-1904. The testing is part of a study with UCLA and California Lutheran University.

Antibody Testing Locations for the week of June 22

No cost. No insurance needed. No appointment needed.

  • Monday, June 22, Simi Valley, Santa Susana High School, 3570 Cochran Street, 93063 10 am to 6 pm
  • Tuesday, June 23, Thousand Oaks Elks Lodge, 158 N. Conejo School Road, 91362 10 am to 6pm
  • Tuesday, June 23, City of Oxnard Fire is offering testing at 1800 S. C Street in Oxnard, 93033 from 3 pm to 7 pm
  • Wednesday, June 24, Simi Valley Knolls Elementary School, 6334 Katherine Road, 93063 10 am to 6 pm
  • Wednesday, June 24, City of Ventura Fire is offering testing at Barranca Vista Park at 7750 Ralston Street in Ventura, 93003 11 am to 6 pm
  • Thursday, June 25 Moorpark, Chaparral Middle School, 280 Poindexter Ave., 93021 10 am to 6 pm
  • Friday, June 26, Simi Valley, Free Clinic of Simi Valley, 2003 Royal Ave. 93065 10 am to 6 pm

Be well,

– Your Homes with Heart Team

 

UPDATE: June 15, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

We are grateful for the resilience of our county during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Here are two resources to help people who may have been impacted.

County Launches Pandemic Rental Assistance Program
The Ventura County Pandemic Rental Assistance (VCPRA) program was recently approved by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors to provide temporary rental assistance for Ventura County residents who owe past-due rent because of a hardship due to COVID-19. Priority will be given to eligible applicants with an annual household income of less than 50% area median income, followed by 80% AMI. For specific income limits based on number of people in a household, see the local Area Housing Authority Income Limits Chart.

The application process opens online at vcemergency.com/rent on June 17, 2020. Applications must be fully completed by July 1, 2020, including submission of information requested from each applicant’s landlord to support the application. If more eligible households apply than total funding can support, a computerized lottery system will be used to fund eligible households at random. Those who qualify could potentially receive rental assistance in the amount of $1,500 for a studio/1 bedroom and $2,500 for a 2 bedroom or larger, with a maximum of two months of rent owed.

Free drive-through testing for COVID-19

COVID-19 drive through testing sites are located at:
• Ventura College, 4667 Telegraph Rd., Ventura CA 93003
• Moorpark College, 7075 Campus Rd., Moorpark, CA 93021
• Ford Dealership, 128 S. Hallock Dr., Santa Paula, CA 93060
• NEW LOCATION: Oxnard College, 4000 S. Rose Ave., Oxnard, CA 93033 (Fri-Tue)

No appointment or insurance is needed.
Hours of operation: Monday – Friday 10 am to 7 pm.
No cost.
You simply drive up and get tested while seated in your vehicle.
www.vcemergency.com

We hope you continue to stay well.

-Your Homes with Heart Team

 

UPDATE: June 5, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

On May 18, we emailed you about the newly issued pandemic EBT cards or P-EBT. The P-EBT is a food benefit intended to fill the gap for children that are no longer receiving free or reduced-priced meals at school. School-aged youth in foster care are automatically eligible for P-EBT benefits. We want to update you that the P-EBT cards were mailed out mid-May. If you have not received a card, you can contact the State of California Department of Social Services by calling the P-EBT Helpline: 833-780-0353. The helpline hours are Monday through Friday 8am-4:30pm. You can also email PandemicEBT@dss.ca.gov. June 30 is the deadline to contact the state to resolve not receiving a card.

Additionally, here is a list of local resources to help with ongoing needs:

Food: http://foodshare.com/covid19/

Senior Services: https://www.vcaaa.org/covid-19/

Unemployment assistance: https://www.vcemergency.com/resources

Business registration: www.vcreopens.com  Sign up for updates: https://www.cognitoforms.com/VenturaCounty

Farmworker Resource Program: https://cdn.ventura.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/2020-05-19_Flyer_COVIDFRPInfo_Span-1.pdf

https://www.ventura.org/human-services-agency/farmworker-resources/

Wellness: https://www.wellnesseveryday.org/coping-during-coronavirus

Coping with stress: https://habits.vcbh.org/

Support resources: https://www.ventura.org/departments/hsa/community-events/coronavirus-remote-resources/remote-resources-during-coronavirus/

If you need help with something that is not listed here, calling 2-1-1 is a good place to start. 2-1-1 Ventura County is a free service that operates a database of local resources and information. 2-1-1 is fast, free, and confidential. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 150 languages. Call 2-1-1 (800-339-9597) or text your zip code to 898211 or visit www.211ventura.org.

-Your Homes with Heart Team

 

UPDATE: May 27, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

Today we’d like to re-visit a few frequently asked questions regarding medical care for the child/ren in your care and the available resources to help you achieve the required well child exams.

How do I obtain the mandatory CHDP physical exam for the child in my care?

We strongly encourage caregivers to contact the child’s primary medical doctor to find out how and when they are scheduling well child exams. Each primary medical doctor may have a different procedure so we recommend you call directly to schedule an exam for the child/ren in your care. Here are schedules for a few clinics in the community, if you do not see your child’s medical provider, please call them directly to inquire about scheduling an appointment.

  • Some VCMC clinics :

Mandalay – is scheduling CHDPs in the morning and requesting that patients bring any one in who is not up to date on vaccines. Sick patients are then scheduled in the afternoon.

Las Islas – Providers are currently still scheduling well child checks for children under the age of 2 years. Most of the visits are via phone and the patient walks in for immunizations by a nurse or MA.

Magnolia – is similar to Mandalay.

  • Clinicas – providing immunizations, needed well child exams and immunization recall visits in the morning only. All other acute visits are scheduled in the afternoon. They are disinfecting in the mornings and afternoons.
  • CMH system – has designated one of their clinics as a WELL clinic to make sure all immunizations stay up to date. If you would like to schedule an appointment, PLEASE CALL OR TEXT 805-652-6353.

Who do I contact to find out the medical history of a dependent child or youth in my care?

Look in the child’s Health and Education Passport (HEP Binder). You can also consult with the child’s social worker or public health nurse. Every dependent child is assigned to a public health nurse. If you do not have the contact information for your child’s public health nurse, the child’s social worker or your Retention Community Services Coordinator can look up the information for you.

Who do I contact if the child or youth in my care is showing symptoms of COVID-19?

Contact the child’s primary care doctor for a telehealth consultation. Most people who are diagnosed with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms and recovery quickly. This is especially true of children. When circumstances do not require admission to an inpatient healthcare facility, children should be cared for at home.  The CDC provides instructions for recommended precautions to follow if caregiver or child is sick. Remember that Families are empowered to make appropriate, ordinary medical decisions and arrangements for medical care on behalf of children in their care, which includes caring for a child who shows symptoms of COVID-19 or is diagnosed. Contact your child’s social worker for support and for guidance for any extraordinary medical decisions.

Medical Decisions

Families are empowered to make appropriate, ordinary medical decisions and arrangements for medical care on behalf of the children in their care.

  • Refer to the Health and Education Plan (HEP) binder for child’s medical history.
  • Contact your child’s social worker for support and for guidance for any extraordinary medical decisions.

Exposure to COVID-19

Children who are experiencing mild or moderate symptoms of COVID-19, or who have been exposed or potentially exposed to COVID-19; should not be relocated or issued a 14-day notice during the pandemic. Children who have exposure to, or exhibit symptoms of, COVID- 19 should be cared for in a way that is consistent with the current, available public health and medical guidance provided to all families.

  • The CDC guidance recommends that caregivers monitor for emergency signs, prevent the spread of germs, treat symptoms and carefully consider when to quarantine.
  • If you believe that a child is experiencing symptoms or has been exposed to COVID-19, please call their healthcare provider and also inform their social worker.
  • Be sure to let any potential visitors to your home (such as a social worker or respite care provider) know about the exposure and/or symptoms.

Be well,

-Your Homes with Heart VC Team

 

UPDATE: May 20, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

Countywide Available Resources for Ventura County Seniors 65 yrs.+

Based on what we know, people age 65 years and older are amongst one of the groups of people most at risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  It is vital for older adults to take precautions to stay safe and healthy during this pandemic. If you need to leave your home, try to consolidate your trips to the grocery store or pharmacy into as few trips as possible. Here are few resources specifically available to people that are 65 yrs.+ to help protect themselves.

The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging continues to serve the most vulnerable in our communities. View an update here. Learn more at Ventura County COVID-19 Information & Resources

Home Delivered Food for Low-Income Seniors
If you’re over 75 years old or disabled, the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging is offering to deliver 2 weeks’ worth of free food (including canned goods, fresh produce, and TOILET PAPER) so you don’t have to shop.

If interested, call 805-477-7300 and leave a message. Learn More

Pickups and Deliveries for Seniors
Caregivers: Volunteers Assisting the Elderly is providing COVID-19 vetted and trained volunteers for safe pickups and deliveries for seniors. Call 805-658-8530

Seniors Needing Assistance in the Conejo Valley
Senior Concerns is ready to help. Call us 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at 805-497-0189

Upper Ojai Relief
Door-to-door delivery service to those most vulnerable, the elderly, immunocompromised, immobile or in medical or self-quarantine. Those in need of assistance, please text RELIEF to (877) 959-2599 or email: venturacountycoronavirus@gmail.com

Senior Support Line
Isolated individuals who are feeling lonely can contact the Senior Support Line at (800) 235-9980.

Food Share Update

Food Share is operating as usual and is providing continued support to area agencies and organizations. If your site is in need of food, or if you know a group or organization that can benefit from Food Share’s services, please call (805) 983-7100. For a list of food pantries throughout Ventura County that are not part of the VCAAA’s Senior Nutrition Program, please visit Food Share-find a pantry

2-1-1 Ventura County

Links people to resources and information: dial 2-1-1 or 800-339-9597 or text 211211. For information specific to COVID-19, text “COVID19” to 211211

Medi-Cal, CalFresh & CalWORKs Programs

All sites are temporarily closed to the public, however, you can still apply online, by phone at 888-472-4463, by mail, or through our drop-off service. https://www.mybenefitscalwin.org/

Special Grocery Shopping Hours for Seniors

  • Gelson’s: 7-8 a.m., 7 days a week, for customers 65+. Customers may be asked for ID.
  • Ralphs: 7-8 a.m., 7 days a week
  • Target: 8-9 a.m., Wednesdays only
  • Vallarta Supermarkets: – 7-8 a.m., 7 days a week– Opening early for older adults, people with disabilities, and pregnant women to have exclusive access to groceries.  Locations are 2690 E. Vineyard Ave. and 1050 S. A Street in Oxnard.
  • Albertsons, Safeway, Vons: 7-9 a.m., Monday-Friday
  • Whole Foods: 7-8 a.m., 7 days a week

-Your Homes with Heart VC Team

 

UPDATE: May 18, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

We want to share important benefit information relating to the child/ren in your care. Recently the State of California announced they will be issuing pandemic EBT cards or P-EBT. The P-EBT is a food benefit intended to fill the gap for children that are no longer receiving free or reduced-priced meals at school. School-aged youth in foster care are automatically eligible for P-EBT benefits. Families with children who are in foster care do not need to apply or complete any forms, including those in Family Maintenance programs. Benefits will also be issued for children who were receiving free or reduced-priced meal prior to school closures, as well as families with school-aged children who are receiving Cal Fresh or Medi-Cal benefits.

Cards are expected to arrive in the mail around May 12 through May 22, 2020. The P-EBT will be issued in the child’s name and mailed to the caregiver purchasing the child’s food at the current address on file. Children and Family Services does not have any direct control over where the cards are initially mailed. If you receive a P-EBT card for a child that was recently moved to an alternate placement or is on an extended home visit, we ask that you please return the card to our eligibility unit so that the card can be given to the appropriate current caregiver.

Contact information to return P-EBT card:

Foster Care Eligibility- 1400 Vanguard Dr., Ste. C Oxnard, CA 93033 805-477-5328

You can view additional information about P-EBT on the State’s P-EBT webpage or view the FAQs here.

Your Homes with Heart VC Team

 

UPDATE: May 15, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

As our community slowly moves towards a partial re-opening, it is important to stay informed on the process and the precautions we should maintain. “Our community has worked so hard to social distance and to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our County. We must continue to practice social distancing and businesses must make modifications needed to lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure” said Public Health Officer Doctor Robert Levin. “The County has made progress in meeting the Governor’s requirements for moving forward.” Click here to read the full news release from the County of Ventura County Executive Office.

Here are a few resources we to help answer questions you may have and guide you in talking to the children in your home about COVID-19

Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions

Available from: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This webpage includes answers to frequently asked questions concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and children. It addresses the risk of children becoming sick and how parents can protect their children from COVID-19.

Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus [Youtube Video]

Available from: Child Mind Institute

This 4-minute video recording from the Child Mind Institute discusses how parents can talk to their children about COVID-19.  

Resources to Support Youth and Families During the Coronavirus COVID-19 Outbreak

Available from: Youth.gov

This webpage provides links to resources to assist young people and those who work with them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus: What Child Care Providers Need to Know

Available from: Child Care Aware of America

Intended for childcare providers, this fact sheet explains that COVID-19 is a new strain of the coronavirus and has caused a global pandemic.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Guidance for School Settings before and After an Outbreak

Available from: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This fact sheet provides specific guidance for schools and childcare providers for handling COVID-19 outbreaks.

To view all 75 publications and their detail visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway website

Be well,

Your Homes with Heart VC Team

 

UPDATE: May 12, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

Here are two excellent opportunities to continue your development as resource families and building upon your skills as caregivers. Please note that these are not County-sponsored trainings and are not guaranteed to count towards your annual recertification training hours. Consult with your RFA social worker should you wish to count these trainings towards your annual recertification hours.

Child Hope Services Presents the 2020 Virtual Foster Care Summit

“Foster Care Summit is designed to encourage and equip individuals who have a heart for foster care and adoption. Whether an Individuals role is bringing a foster child into their home or supporting those who are, the foster care summit will provide the resources to start and continue the journey.” “We have a powerful lineup of speakers that are sure to inspire and motivate! Walk away from the Foster Care Summit feeling empowered to continue what you have been doing with a filled up cup or ready to engage in your next steps.”

The Foster Care Summit will be held over a 4-week period, (1-hour-mini-session) via Child Hope’s Facebook-Live.  There will be an interactive, Q & A time at the end of each session.

Check out the attached flyer for more details or visit www.fostercaresummit.org!

WHEN:  

  • Thursday, May 14th
  • Thursday, May 21st
  • Thursday, May 28th
  • Thursday, June 4th

TIME:  

  •  All sessions from 6pm to 7pm PST

HOW:

Facebook LIVE at www.facebook.com/childhopeservices

TBRI 101: A Self-Guided Course in Trust-Based Relationships

In light of the COVID-19, the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at TCU is generously offering free access to their TBRI (Trust-Based Relational Intervention) 101 online trainings through June 30, 2020.

TBRI® 101: A Self-Guided Course in Trust-Based Relationships is a five part series of self-paced, whiteboard-style video lessons. Each part includes multiple video e-lessons offering an informal, yet thorough approach to Trust-Based Relational Intervention®, an evidence-based intervention for children from hard places of abuse, neglect, and/or trauma. Over nearly eight hours of instruction, Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross guide the viewer through the principles and strategies of TBRI® and offer practical tips for implementation. Topics include Understanding Trauma, TBRI® Empowering, Connecting, and Correcting Principles, as well as real-life examples and testimonials from caregivers and professionals who use TBRI®.

Click here for more information or to begin the training now.

We hope you take advantage of these wonderful training opportunities!  As always, feel free to contact us via our website at HomeswithHeartVC.org or 805.654.3220.

Be well!

-Your Homes with Heart VC Team

 

UPDATE: May 4, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

As we continue to navigate through these challenging times and juggle between multiple roles—chef, teacher, counselor, nurse—it is easy to be overwhelmed.  Reading can be a wonderful (and healthy) escape from the stress of everyday life for you as well as the children in your home. Many of us take this simple act for granted, because we have so much “required” reading in our daily lives such as the newspaper, emails, and bills. Yet, reading for pleasure reduces stress and can relax your body by lowering your heart rate and easing tension in your muscles. The book you choose doesn’t have to be on any “best-seller” list. The important thing is that the subject matter has captured your interest and will provide a space for your mind to relax in every day. Don’t be picky about what your kids choose to read, as long as it’s age-appropriate. Whether it’s a novel, a comic book, or a magazine – letting your child choose something they find interesting or engaging makes reading feel less like a chore or assignment and more like fun. For preschool-age kids and younger children, Allyssa McCabe, a psychology professor at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, states that “reading interactively with (not just at) children is very beneficial for language and literacy instruction.”

Although all local libraries are currently closed due to COVID-19, there is an abundance of online libraries available where you can find something for everyone to enjoy. Many offer educational stories perfect for students who are distance learning!

Ventura County Library

The Library continues to offer digital services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at www.vencolibrary.org  Don’t have a library card? Visit their Get a Library card page for a way to get a temporary number valid for 3 months.

Hoopla

Hoopla is a digital media service offered by your local public library that allows you to borrow movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics and TV shows to enjoy on your computer, tablet, or phone. With no waiting, titles can be streamed immediately, or downloaded to phones or tablets for offline enjoyment later. https://www.hoopladigital.com/

Cloud Library

Download the app or visit their website to check out ebooks and audiobooks, there is no monthly limit, however, there are limited copies of each item so you may sometimes have to wait, like with a physical book in the library. https://www.yourcloudlibrary.com/

LearningExpress

A collection of tutorials, practice tests, and more educational resources for students of all ages. It is a collection of over a million books available free during this crisis. They have organized many of the resources according to grade level to facilitate distance learning. https://archive.org/details/nationalemergencylibrary

Free Quality Parenting Initiative Webinar

We also want to remind you about the importance of birth family connections, especially during a time of social disconnection. You are invited to join a live web event, Supporting Meaningful Connections: Family Time Visits During a Pandemic.” This is the sixth webinar offered as part of a Quality Parenting Initiative resource series, COVID-19: The New Normal. Join in for this 75-minute webinar on Tuesday, May 5th at 12 pm Pacific / 2 pm Central / 3 pm Eastern. You can register here for Supporting Meaningful Connections: Family Time Visits During a Pandemic.

As always, please contact us through the resources listed on our website: http://homeswithheartvc.org/covid19-2/.

Your Homes with Heart Team

 

UPDATE: April 28, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

Today we are highlighting two FREE resources to help your caregiving during the public health emergency.

#1- Marco Polo App

What: Marco Polo is a “video walkie talkie” – a video chat app that lets you send quick messages back and forth with your friends using phone recorded videos. Marco Polo is free to download and use!

Where: Marco Polo is available both in the App Store and Google Play Store for use on Apple (iOS) and Android devices. Marco Polo works great on a strong Wi-Fi or cellular connection. If you’re connected to Wi-Fi, your data will not be used when sending and receiving Polos. If Wi-Fi is unavailable, the app will use data.

How: After you download the app, you will be taken to the Invite Friends screen where all of your phone contacts are listed. If they have Marco Polo, there is a Marco Polo beach ball that will be displayed along with their name/image. If they do not have Marco Polo, it will just display a phone number next to their name and you can send them a text invite to join! Once you’ve added people, go back to your Marco Polo home screen and tap on their Chat Tile to open the conversation. Once you have a conversation open, simply tap Start to begin recording and Stop to finish and send your Polo! The person you’re chatting with will get the Polo and can watch it whenever they’d like however many times they’d like.

Why: This app is a great alternative to live video chats. You can take several quick videos of kids and send them to birth family and support networks for the recipients to watch when they are free. The app can send longer videos with better quality than messaging apps.

“Marco Polo has been one of the things we look forward to using during this time when we are safe at home.  My daughter has never gone more than a month without seeing her birth uncle and grandmother.  With the current orders, she has not been allowed to leave the house to see them, but when using Marco Polo, she gets to see them whenever she wants.  FaceTime becomes difficult as she is young and loses interest quickly, so an hour conversation wouldn’t work for our family. Rather, we send 1-2 minute videos multiple times a day so her family can see her at her best, doing the things she loves and sharing her day with the people she can’t see in person right now. She has also been able to send and receive videos from close friends who she misses so very much and had to abruptly stop having contact with.” — Caregiver

#2- FREE Webinars About Youth Safety and Health Presented by Casa Pacifica
Susan Santangelo, MSN, BS, RN, Director of Health Services
Kelsie Tatum Martinez, Psy.D., Director of Special Projects
James Freeman, MA, CYC-P, Director of Training
Participants may submit questions during the webinar or send them in advance to jfreeman@casapacifica.org.

Minimizing Risk of Infection for Children in Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Friday, May 1, 2020
10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Link to join: https://casapacifica.zoom.us/j/85995761418

The efforts required by caregivers to mitigate the risk of infection and manage the potential isolation and quarantine mandates during the current COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. Children in care need caregivers who are knowledgeable and skilled in providing specialized levels of care that promote physical and emotional safety and well-being during a time of increased demands on families and residential care settings. This course will support foster/relative/adoptive care providers in family and/or congregate settings in developing and implementing strategies to minimize the risk of infection and know what to do when a child has a presumptive or confirmed positive infection of COVID-19.

Topics in this webinar include:

  • Strategies to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 in the living environment
  • Protocols for effective quarantine and isolation of children with a confirmed or presumptive positive infection of COVID-19
  • Reasons why isolation may be difficult for youth and how to support them

Promoting Youth Development During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Friday, May 8, 2020
10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Link to join: https://casapacifica.zoom.us/j/86842746266 

The psychological effects of social distancing, isolation, and potential for quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic are a cause for concern as it presents opportunities for regression and relapse, especially among children in care who have experienced trauma and adversity. This course will help foster/relative/adoptive care providers in family and/or congregate settings provide high-quality care and supervision during a time of increased stress and challenges.

Topics in this webinar include:

  • Impacts of the pandemic on the mental health of youth and caregivers
  • The importance of co-regulation and creating feelings of safety
  • Strategies for talking with children and youth about the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on how the language of crisis can affect a child’s interpretation of events and resulting behaviors
  • Supporting a child’s use of teletherapy/telehealth to access mental health and/or medical care

Thank you for caring for children and youth during these times and always.

-Your Homes with Heart Team

 

UPDATE: April 23, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

As the days pass, we begin to wonder, when will we return to some sense of normalcy? Our County is doing well and making progress. To stay well, we must continue to follow social distancing and take other safety precautions. Today, we are sharing the opening of County Parks and Beaches, an update on visitation, and a link to food sites for family meals. For more information, you can read our past updates at http://homeswithheartvc.org/updates/.

Good News: County Parks and Beaches are open!

The County of Ventura County Parks and Beaches have reopened on a limited basis. When visiting parks and beaches please remember to practice social distancing so that we can continue to work to stop the spread of COVID-19. There is no lounging, no picnics, no sun tanning, and no fishing allowed. Parking lots, restrooms, tennis courts, community centers, and campgrounds remain closed. Exercise is important for your overall health. Get up, get moving, take a walk and enjoy our beautiful weather!

(The reopening applies to County operated parks and beaches. These include Silverstrand, Hollywood Beach and Kiddie Beach Park at Channel Islands Harbor. County parks include Soule, Foster and Steckel and more. City and state parks and beaches may not be reopen.)

Visitation Update

Visitation is now transitioning to some virtual and some in person visits. Your social worker will assess the appropriate method for visitation for your child(ren)’s case and will contact you should the manner of your visits change.

Food and other resources

To ensure that children who rely on free or reduced-price meals at school are able to get the nutrition they need, the United States Department of Agriculture is working with states provide meals to students. Families can use this tool to find directions to nearby sites along with hours of operation and contact information: https://www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids

Stay well

-Your Homes with Heart Team

 

UPDATE: April 17, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

We remain grateful for you and the extraordinary resilience you are showing in a time of crisis. Today we are sharing the answers to questions we have received about caring for children during COVID-19. For more information, you can read our past updates at http://homeswithheartvc.org/updates/ or for more information on how the State of California is directing resource families, congregate care facilities, and CFS staff during COVID-19 (click here).

How long is the stay at home order?

The Ventura County Public Health Officer announced that the Stay Well At Home Order will be extended until May 15, 2020. The current Order is set to expire April 19, 2020 at midnight. The Public Health Officer will be modifying the current Order and making an announcement about the details before the current Order expires.

Who do I contact to find out the medical history of a dependent child or youth in my care?

Look in the child’s Health and Education Passport (HEP Binder). You can also consult with the child’s social worker or public health nurse. Every dependent child is assigned to a public health nurse. If you do not have the contact information for your child’s public health nurse, the child’s social worker or your Retention Community Services Coordinator can look up the information for you.

Who do I contact if the child or youth in my care is showing symptoms of COVID-19?

Contact the child’s primary care doctor for a telehealth consultation. Most people who are diagnosed with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms and recovery quickly. This is especially true of children. When circumstances do not require admission to an inpatient healthcare facility, children should be cared for at home.  The CDC provides instructions for recommended precautions to follow if caregiver or child is sick. Remember that Families are empowered to make appropriate, ordinary medical decisions and arrangements for medical care on behalf of children in their care which includes caring for a child who shows symptoms of COVID-19 or is diagnosed. Contact your child’s social worker for support and for guidance for any extraordinary medical decisions.

What should I do if my child or youth in my care needs a well child exam or immunization?

Contact the child’s primary care doctor. Some doctors are scheduling well child exams in the early morning to keep social distancing between well and sick children.

What should I do if the child or youth in my care needs a dentist appointment?

The April 7, 2020 guidance released by CA HHSA (Health and Human Services Agency) specifically CDPH (California Department of Public Health ) in alignment with recommendations from CDC, ADA (American Dental Association) and ADH(American Dental Hygienist) to all Dental Health Care personnel recommends “the postponement of routine procedures, surgeries, and non-urgent dental visits during this period of the pandemic. Limiting dental practices to treating patients with emergencies will both reduce the risk of COVID-19 disease exposure and preserve the nation’s limited personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies.”

Where can I find food if my family is in need at this time?

Medi-Cal, CalFresh & CalWORKs Programs: 1-888-472-4463 or www.mybenefitscalwin.org

Food Share: 805-983-7100 or www.foodshare.com

School Meals: www.vcoe.org/meals

Food for Seniors: 805-477-7300 or www.vcaaa.org

WIC (Women, Infants & Children): 805-981-5251

Is wearing a mask required? 

There is no order that requires community members or business operators to wear a mask. The Public Health Officer recommends a mask. He supports those residents who wish to cover their nose and mouth when leaving home for essential travel to doctor appointments, grocery shopping or pharmacy visits. The face coverings should not be hospital grade at this time because there is a shortage and our health professionals need them. Masks should be homemade and cover the nose and mouth. Health officials continue to stress that frequent hand washing, social distancing and staying home are the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Stay in your place, maintain your space and cover your face.

If you have other questions, please email us at homeswithheartvc@ventura.org. Thank you again for your dedication to children and youth in need of care.

Your Homes with Heart Team

 

UPDATE: April 14, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

The outbreak of infectious diseases such as Covid-19 can be a stressful time. It is not uncommon to feel anxious or worried while listening, reading or watching the news. It’s important during times like these to keep track of your own physical and mental health, as well as safely stay connected to your community. Know the signs of stress and when and how to seek help for yourself, as well as loved ones. During this stressful time, don’t forget your own self-care. Take time to breathe, exercise, get plenty of sleep, and take a break from the news and social media periodically.*

Join the free ongoing online help and support line to connect with others and learn healthy habits to maintain emotional well-being through the pandemic. Online support/help is available at the following times. Feel free to join in at any time. Learn more: www.giveanhour.org/initiatives-and-programs/covid19-ca/

English

Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays – 4:30 to 6:30pm
Saturdays – 10:00 am to 12 noon

Spanish

Tuesdays & Thursdays – 4:30 to 6:30pm
Saturdays – 1:00 to 3:00pm

  • Pick up a school meal. School meal service is continuing while schools remain closed. Pick up locations can be found at https://www.vcoe.org/meals. Links for more information are at https://www.vcemergency.com/families.
  • Schedule respite care through Channel Islands Social Services by calling 805-384-0983. Respite care continues to be available to resource parents even during the stay at home order. Trained caregivers will come to your home so that you can take a break for essential activities (i.e. grocery shopping or medical appointments) or take some time to yourself in the other room or yard while a respite caregiver supervises your child. Respite caregivers are being screened to make sure that they have no symptoms of the virus. You will also be asked screening questions about your family’s health.
  • Find resources on other topics by contacting 2-1-1.

211 Ventura County
Call 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898211

*This information is provided from the County of Ventura Public Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE: April 13, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

We hope you are all staying healthy and informed with accurate information regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Today’s message has resources about visitation.

Visitation, Home Visits, and Court

As the stay-at-home order for California has been extended through April 30, Children and Family Services continues to prioritize keeping children safe. Field Based Case Aides are available to provide and document virtual visitation. Although in-person visits organized and supervised by Children and Family Services have been suspended, we have provided the option for caregivers whose families are showing no symptoms of COVID-19 to transport children and supervise their own visits with healthy birth families. It is important to help the children stay connected to their biological family, for free virtual visitation apps click here.

Social workers may still be conducting some home visits to meet with children and check on their safety. They will be screening your home for health risks and also following health and safety precautions such as not touching items in the home and maintaining a safe distance. If you have any concerns about home visits, please talk with your social worker.

Most court hearings are continuing with a limited number of people in the courtroom to follow social distancing guidelines. Some interim hearings have been vacated (cleared off the schedule). If you have a question regarding an upcoming hearing, please contact the child or youth’s social worker.

During this time, your social worker, Field Based Case Aide, or PPE will be in contact with you frequently. Thank you for your extra time and patience.

Please feel free to contact us with questions and concerns by reaching out to the contacts on our website: http://homeswithheartvc.org/covid19-2/.

Be well!

-Your Homes with Heart VC team

UPDATE: April 8, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

We hope you are all staying healthy and informed with accurate information regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Today’s message has resources about Public Health information.

Public Health Information

Everyone should follow instructions from public health care providers, please visit these helpful links for the most up to date information:

Medical Decisions

Families are empowered to make appropriate, ordinary medical decisions and arrangements for medical care on behalf of the children in their care.

  • Refer to the Health and Education Plan (HEP) binder for child’s medical history.
  • Contact your child’s social worker for support and for guidance for any extraordinary medical decisions.

Exposure to COVID-19

Children who are experiencing mild or moderate symptoms of COVID-19, or who have been exposed or potentially exposed to COVID-19; should not be relocated or issued a 14-day notice during the pandemic. Children who have exposure to, or exhibit symptoms of, COVID- 19 should be cared for in a way that is consistent with the current, available public health and medical guidance provided to all families.

  • The CDC guidance recommends that caregivers monitor for emergency signs, prevent the spread of germs, treat symptoms and carefully consider when to quarantine.
  • If you believe that a child is experiencing symptoms or has been exposed to COVID-19, please call their healthcare provider and also inform their social worker.
  • Be sure to let any potential visitors to your home (such as a social worker or respite care provider) know about the exposure and/or symptoms.

Providing Care at Home

Most people who are diagnosed with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms and recovery quickly. This is especially true of children. When circumstances do not require admission to an inpatient healthcare facility, children should be cared for at home.  The CDC provides instructions for recommended precautions to follow if caregiver or child is sick.

Los Angeles Department of Public Health developed these consumer-friendly guides for home care.

Please feel free to contact us with questions and concerns by reaching out to the contacts on our website: http://homeswithheartvc.org/covid19-2/.

Be well!

-Your Homes with Heart VC team

 

UPDATE: April 2, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

As you know, Ventura County has issued a stay well at home order effective through mid-April, and the State of California has issued a stay at home order under further notice. In these uncertain times, it is even more important to manage stress. VC Emergency has a list of resources on coping with stress (click here) as well as the most up to date local information on the impacts of the Coronavirus. The good news is that one of the best ways to manage stress is completely free and readily available to everyone—humor! The University of Saskatechewan has put together a selection of humor (click here): “We encourage you to use this and other forms of self-care as an inoculation to boost your resilience! Keep up your spirits. There is light at the end of this COVID tunnel.” For those of you who are now homeschooling, also check out these 6 Engaging Anxiety Management Activities for Kids (click here) by the Counseling Teacher, who also shares this wisdom about letting go of what we cannot control:

As always, please contact us through the resources listed on our website: http://homeswithheartvc.org/covid19-2/.

Stay well!

-Your Homes with Heart VC Team

 

UPDATE: March 30, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

As the stay-at-home order for California has been extended through April 30, Children and Family Services continues to prioritize keeping children safe. We realize that remaining at home full-time with children is a challenge, and we are grateful to you for opening your homes and hearts to children in need of care. Today’s message has four resources to help during this time at home.

Respite Care

Respite care continues to be available to resource parents even during the stay at home order. Trained caregivers will come to your home so that you can take a break for essential activities (i.e. grocery shopping or medical appointments) or take some time to yourself in the other room. To make a request for respite, please contact Channel Islands Social Services at 805-384-0983. The respite caregivers are being screened to make sure that they have no symptoms of the virus. You will also be asked screening questions about your family’s health.

Webinar on Connection

Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) is providing a series of web-based trainings called “COVID-19: The New Normal.” The trainings are taught by child development and legal experts. The first training is tomorrow March 31 at 11am. The topic is: The Power of Connection: How Resource Families Can Support Adolescents Through COVID-19 Crisis. Please click here to register.   

Articles on Caring

For more ideas on supporting children and youth, take a look at the article by Dr. Ginsburg and Eden Pontz, Making Your Home A Safe Haven. The authors share five ways to make home feel like a safe and secure place. You can also check this out this stress management plan specifically targeted to helping teenagers.

Please feel free to contact us with questions and concerns by reaching out to the contacts on our website: http://homeswithheartvc.org/covid19-2/.

Be well!

-Your Homes with Heart VC team

 

UPDATE: March 27, 2020

Resource Family Placement During COVID-19 Survey

As all of us in Ventura County have experienced rapidly changing circumstances the past three weeks, we are checking in with you about your capacity to help with children and youth in care. Please fill out this 3-minute survey to help us update your current availability to care for court dependent children. Even if you are not available, it is important for us to know the most up to date information about your home during this public health emergency. All information shared is confidential. Please respond to this email with any questions. You can also go to http://homeswithheartvc.org/updates/ for information about Children and Family Services response to COVID-19. Thank you for your help with this very important survey and for your willingness to be a home with heart.

UPDATE: March 26, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

During this pandemic, many of us are experiencing fear and anxiety about the future, lack of control, isolation, and loss. These are certainly “unprecedented” times around the world, but these feelings are sadly normal for children and youth in the child welfare system. Children who have been removed from their homes often experience fear and anxiety about the future, lack of control in making decisions about their lives, broken family connections, and loss of all that is familiar. Thankfully, we also have an “unprecedented” opportunity to model for children what it looks like to practice calm, flexibility, connection, and gratitude. One of the most important ways we can do this is to help children stay connected to their family and friends of origin. To help with this, we have added a Virtual Visitation list with directions for several apps that allow people to video chat with each other for free. Although in person visits organized and supervised by Children and Family Services have been temporarily suspended through a court order, there is an option for caregivers whose families are showing no symptoms of COVID-19 to transport children and supervise their own visits with healthy birth families. If you are interested in this option, please talk to your social worker.

Practicing calm in the midst of chaos is an important life skill. If grounding (learning to be calm in face of stress) is not a common practice for you, we encourage you to reach out to your Retention Community Services Coordinator or Peer Partner Educator for support. Also consider these six questions to ask yourself during the stay at home order (you can read more about them by clicking here).

  1. What am I grateful for today?
  2. Who am I checking in on or connecting with today?
  3. What expectations of “normal” am I letting go of today?
  4. How am I getting outside today?
  5. How am I moving my body today?
  6. What beauty am I creating, cultivating, or inviting in today?

As always, for questions and support, please reach out to the resources listed on our website: http://homeswithheartvc.org/covid19-2/.

– Homes with Heart VC Team

 

UPDATE: March 25, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

Thank you for your dedication to caring for children and youth even in these difficult times. As County CEO Mike Powers shared: “These next two to three weeks are truly a critical time in our collective County and community effort to flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19.  Significant measures are being taken both locally and at the state level.” As you know, one of those significant measures is the stay at home order put in place by the state and the county. Staying at home is certainly an opportunity for quality family time but can also put stress on family dynamics. We know that connection is one way to diffuse stress. In these times, it is even more important for children to share family time and visitation with their birth families. An article from the Chronicle of Social Change explains:

Family time is an important way to meet children’s needs. Fortunately, foster parents and kin are providing children with loving reassurance, routines and opportunities to learn. But children in care have been traumatized by separation from their families as well as prenatal and early stressors. The disruption from school closure, not seeing their friends or having a normal activity schedule is more difficult for traumatized children. Without these everyday supports, their behaviors may become more challenging.

Handling their own confusing emotions is even harder than usual because those around them are reacting to the stress. Foster parents and kin are extremely stretched by school and daycare closures. The anxieties of others make children worry about their parents’ and other family members’ well-being. Young children cannot articulate their feelings and verbal children are likely to act them out. When they see their families every week, their need for reassurance can be met in a different way than what their foster parent or kin can provide.

At this time, due to the stay at home order, in person visitations have been suspended through March 31. We encourage you to make every effort to keep connections between children and their birth families (parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, and others). “Virtual” visits through apps such as FaceTime and Zoom are a great option as well as phone conversations. Click here  for other ideas and links on how to reassure children during this time. Again, in all person visits have been suspended for at least a week.

Thank you again for your dedication as caregivers. For questions and support, please reach out to the resources listed on our website: http://homeswithheartvc.org/covid19-2/

– Homes with Heart VC Team

 

UPDATE: March 23, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

Thank you for your dedication to caring for children and youth even in these difficult times. As County CEO Mike Powers shared in a recent message to all County staff: “These next two to three weeks are truly a critical time in our collective County and community effort to flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19.  Significant measures are being taken both locally and at the state level.” As you know, one of those significant measures is the stay at home order put in place by the state and the county. As a result, Children and Family Services has obtained a court order temporarily suspending in-person visitation between all dependent children and youth in out-of-home placement and their parents, guardians, relatives and others that is arranged by Children and Family Services. We are still required to make reasonable efforts to facilitate virtual visitation via telephone, Facetime, Skype and other available technology.  Staying at home is certainly an opportunity for quality family time but can also put stress on family dynamics. We know that connection is one way to diffuse stress. In these times, it is even more important for children to share family time and visitation with their birth families. An article from the Chronicle of Social Change explains:

Family time is an important way to meet children’s needs. Fortunately, foster parents and kin are providing children with loving reassurance, routines and opportunities to learn. But children in care have been traumatized by separation from their families as well as prenatal and early stressors. The disruption from school closure, not seeing their friends or having a normal activity schedule is more difficult for traumatized children. Without these everyday supports, their behaviors may become more challenging.

Handling their own confusing emotions is even harder than usual because those around them are reacting to the stress. Foster parents and kin are extremely stretched by school and daycare closures. The anxieties of others make children worry about their parents’ and other family members’ well-being. Young children cannot articulate their feelings and verbal children are likely to act them out. When they see their families every week, their need for reassurance can be met in a different way than what their foster parent or kin can provide.

We are asking you to make a concerted effort to keep connections between children and their birth families (parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, and others). Click here for some ideas of creative and safe ways to share visits. Our Social Workers and/or Field Based Case Aides will be in touch to assess the best means to maintain connections. We are also evaluating technology needs for parents. If you are aware of a parent who has a technology barrier to participating in virtual visitation please let us know as we are committed to providing those resources.

Thank you again for your dedication as caregivers. For questions and support, please reach out to the resources listed on our website: http://homeswithheartvc.org/covid19-2/.

– Homes with Heart VC Team

 

UPDATE: March 19, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

Visitation between children and their parents have been disrupted due to the closure of county buildings. Children and Family Services are exploring alternative visitation options to promote and support contact between family members. We will provide an update as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience during this time.

Pre-service training
In compliance with the health directives now in place, Kids & Families Together has postponed all on site and in-home trainings at this time. Further information on how to continue pre-service training will be available as soon as possible. Please know we are exploring all options in order to provide services to our families. For questions, please contact the pre-service training scheduler at Kids and Families Together at (805) 643-1446 x 151.

Health Tips
For Community Health Tips please visit: http://homeswithheartvc.org/covid19/

Thank you,

-Homes with Heart VC Team

 

UPDATE: March 18, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

We hope you are all staying healthy and informed with accurate information regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The rapidly changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19 have affected the education, work, and social schedules of all Ventura County residents. As always, Ventura County Children and Family Services is committed to the safety and well-being of children and families along with our community partners and staff.

Children and Family Services is continuing essential operations during regularly scheduled business hours and after hours on our child abuse hotline. Our staff are taking all precautions possible in our work with children and families. We are daily assessing changing circumstances in our county and state. To support social distancing, all Ventura County government buildings have been closed to the public until at least March 31. We have cancelled in-person orientation, trainings, and CPR classes until further notice. We are offering accommodations for pre-service training on a priority basis. Please contact the pre-service training scheduler at Kids and Families together to discuss accommodations:  (805) 643-1446 x 151.

We strongly encourage caregivers to follow medical advice about safety practices such as handwashing, sanitizing frequently touched surfaces, and social distancing as much as possible. If you been diagnosed with COVID-19, been advised by a medical professional to quarantine, or experienced other significant disruption from the COVID-19, please contact your social worker immediately and also leave a message on the Caregiver Disaster Hotline: 1-877-882-9111. For questions and support, please reach out to the resources below:

  • VC Emergency provides updates about the public health emergency and links to prevention and preparedness information: https://www.vcemergency.com/.
  • 2-1-1 Ventura County links people to resources and information: dial 2-1-1 or 800-339-9597 or text 211211. For information specific to COVID-19, text “COVID19” to 211211.
  • California Employment Development Department answers questions about unemployment, disability, and paid family medical leave eligibility: https://edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs.htm.
  • Peer Partner Educators (PPE) and Retention Community Services Coordinators (CSC) can help with questions about quality caregiving and the child welfare system: If you are not sure who your assigned PPE or CSC is, call 805-654-3220 or email homeswithheartvc@ventura.org.
  • The Child Abuse Hotline continues to receive calls regarding suspected child abuse and neglect: 805-654-3200.
  • If you are applying to be a resource family, please contact Homes with Heart for general guidance: 805-654-3220 and homeswithheartvc@ventura.org.
  • If you are an approved resource family, please contact your RFA social worker and/or the Child’s Social Worker for general guidance. You can also contact management staff:
  • Michelle Calder, Program Manager, Placement/CFT/Recruitment/Retention, 805-385-8562
  • Teresa Stanley, Program Manager, Resource Family Approval, 805-654-3251
  • Renee Lodder, Program Manager, Neighbors Together/ER/Ongoing, 805-240-2722
  • Jaci Johnson, Program Coordinator, Recruitment, 805-240-2750
  • Katie Rhodes, Program Coordinator, Retention, 805-240-2717

Thank you for opening up your homes and hearts to children in need of care. We appreciate you as caregivers and hope that you stay safe and well.

– Homes with Heart VC Team

 

A Message to our Caregivers  |   Human Services Agency Website
 

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