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Resources for Families During the Covid-19 Crisis

By Alice Wertheimer, National MCH Workforce Development Center

Like many Americans, MCH staff and family partners were abruptly forced to deal with drastic changes to their professional and personal roles, while scrambling to keep themselves and their families safe. Within days of being ordered to shelter in place, The Center’s Family Engagement Team reacted to meet the urgent and rapidly changing needs of our Title V partners.

In response to the significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center created and continues to build a portfolio of trusted resources and frameworks addressing the leadership, emotional, logistical and work-life balance capacity of the Center’s family partners. The Coronavirus Coping Toolbox includes a wide variety of resources targeted to multiple audiences and needs, and sourced from national professional and advocacy organizations, among others.

Resources are evaluated according to a criteria list developed with the understanding that family and individual well-being, as well as emotional and behavioral health, are foundational to workforce development.

Three examples of the resources shared with our cohort and family partners come from our partners and Center team members from AMCHP, Family Voices, and The Catalyst Center.

 

AMCHP Logo

Committed to helping the MCH community GROW through the crisis, AMCHP responded to questions regarding resources and guidance, self-care suggestions for caregivers and families, and potential impact to grant deliverables and Title V reporting implications with a multitude of links to resources and the COVID-19 Town Hall Series.

AMCHP Coronavirus Disease: MCH and Community Resources

 

Family Voices Logo

Deeply committed to family engagement in health and wellness of children and youth with special health care needs and their families, Family Voices provided resources and ideas in response to some key questions around the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation.

Family Voices Coronavirus Information

 

Catalyst Center Logo

 The Catalyst Center works primarily at the system and policy levels, in collaboration with researchers, agencies, government and other national and state partners to promote strategies for improving the health care system.  They have assembled a wide range of resources for families and the Title V community called the COVID-19 Resource Library.

The Catalyst Center Information for Families

The Catalyst Center Covid-19 Resource Library

  • Family Leader Peer Support

For those involved in our Cohort Learning teams, the Family Engagement Team holds bi-weekly learning sessions geared specifically to family partners of Cohort 2020 and offer themes which align with the Center’s workforce development content.

Facilitated by the FE Team Lead, sessions include time for peer support, presentation by Center technical experts and the opportunity to build a cross-cohort professional network.  Since the quarantine period, the sessions have focused on compassionate support, assessing the impact of COVID-19 on teams’ Cohort 2020 projects, building resiliency, and creating opportunity from challenges.

  • Webinar on the Post-Pandemic Role of MCH Family Leaders

Currently under development, the FE Team will present the Center’s monthly learning webinar in June on a topic related to the impact of the pandemic on Family Engagement in Title V going forward.