Supporting Clients in Under-Resourced Communities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Working remotely with clients is generally not the preferred method of service provision for most front-line staff especially those working with children, youth and families living in under-resourced communities vulnerable to the impact of the COVID -19 pandemic. Child Trends collaborated with the South Ward Children’s Alliance (SWCA) to develop this two part resource that shares emerging strategies and recommendations that may be applicable to Promise Neighborhoods and other community-based human service providers. Given the pandemic, families living in Promise Neighborhoods need the crucial services offered now more than ever. While face-to-face contact is not an option, with proper planning and support, staff can work remotely while still serving families effectively. The approach to helping these families during the pandemic is focused on three key areas where administrators are likely to experience the greatest challenges. These challenges include how best to engage with supervisors and peers for assistance and encouragement, how to support clients through consistent, accurate, and supportive communication and how to keep up-to-date and knowledgeable about services, resources, and changes by connecting with colleagues and peers. Specific tips include seeking out support and feedback from peers, being sensitive to clients emotions and feelings, increasing flexibility about service provision and staying well informed.