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Making the Most of Virtual Visits in a Time of Separation and Uncertainty 

By Bradley Franklin
Since the COVID-19 shutdown began, my emotions have flip-flopped between anger at the system, understanding for the safety of my children, and sadness in not seeing them, holding them, playing with them and reading to them. I feel a sense of helplessness knowing that, right now, their well-being is absolutely out of my control.

So far, all in-person visitation with my children has been canceled. We have been able to have video calls with our three youngest. I'm lucky if I can keep them on the video call for more than 5 to 10 minutes apiece as they play, watch TV and only say, "I love you, Daddy" and "Hi Daddy" and "Bye Daddy."

I can't imagine what my 5-year-old is feeling right now. After just getting adjusted to being taken away by himself, then having only a couple of hours a week of seeing everyone, to now not seeing his brothers and sister or his parents.

Children in foster care are already dealing with the trauma of not having their parents and siblings, and now have no in-person contact. Parents need to remember that, as much as it's hurting you, it's hurting your kids more. Even seeing you for five minutes lets your kids know you haven't just disappeared. READ MORE

>> PARENTS: Please take our survey on how coronavirus is impacting your family
>> SIGN UP to keep receiving Rise's newsletter specific to COVID-19 and child welfare.
>> Advocates and allies: Please forward to parents!  

Resources for Parents Separated from their Children or Facing Family Crises

Supportive Visits by Video

We at Rise understand that it is hard not being able to visit your children during this time of crisis. This video offers guidance on how to hold positive remote visits with your children. 

Q&A with a Trauma Therapist
This resource is a question and answer session with a trauma therapist. She discusses coping with your mental health during times of crisis. She specifically gives tips on facing abuse during quarantine, immigrant experiences and poverty.

NYC Parents: Facing an Investigation during COVID-19
If your children have been removed, you must contact a family defense organization in your borough to be assigned a lawyer. This document provides contact information.

If you are concerned that ACS may get involved in your life, you can reach out for early legal representation.  It is really important that all parents speak to a lawyer about what’s happening, what it means to have an ACS investigation, and what is available to your family.

Resources for Families Under Stress

The Importance of Self-Care  Your home life probably has shifted drastically within the past couple of weeks. Some parents are feeling overwhelmed with having their children home all the time and having their children not understand why they are homebound. It is especially difficult to take time to care for yourself when you are catering to your children's needs without much of a break. This article provides tips on how to handle having young children at home during this outbreak and how to be of support to them and yourselves.

Meeting Your Family's Basic Needs in NYC: This extensive list of community resources and mutual aid groups in New York City can help with a variety of concerns.

How Routines Can Help Maintain Normality: How can you as a parent maintain a routine during an uncertain and anxious situation of the current pandemic? A therapist shares her tips from her own experience as parent about how keeping a routine can help restore normality in your life. An immigrant mom shares how she sets routines to help her children with school despite limited English. 
Educational Neglect Concern: At Rise, we have been informed that some parents are being threatened with educational neglect due to their children not showing up for remote classes. We understand that school may be a secondary concern at this time but we do want to encourage our parents to check in with their children to ensure they are attending their online classes to avoid any possible neglect case. If you are in NYC and think you may be at risk of a child protective investigation, please contact a family defense attorney for free guidance. 
Rise Parent-Led Video Support Groups for NYC Families - Wednesday and Friday

Rise is hosting bi-weekly parent-led support groups - by video - for NYC parents impacted by child welfare and coronavirus. 

Wednesdays 5-6pm, for parents with children at home
Fridays 11-12pm, for parents separated from their children

Please email Jeanette Vega for info:

Rise also is gathering information to learn about parent’s concerns and needs related to the coronavirus shutdown so that we can advocate for impacted parents. PARENTS: Please take our survey today! 

>> SIGN UP to keep receiving Rise's newsletter specific to COVID-19 and Child Welfare.
>> Advocates and allies: Please forward to parents!  
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