May 5, 2020
Vulnerable families, children and youth in Renfrew County need support now more than ever. With schools, childcare and many workplaces closed, many families are struggling with additional stresses and children and youth may be at greater risk. That’s why Family and Children’s Services of Renfrew County and several community organizations, with the support of M.P.P. John Yakabuski, are reminding families we are here to help in a social media campaign launching today.
“We are concerned that COVID-19 safety measures can lead to an increase in risk factors surrounding mental health, intimate partner violence and maltreatment of children and youth,” says Kathy Davis, Executive Director of FCSRC. “Our staff and our community partners are working hard everyday to stay connected with families and support those who need assistance. Children and youth are especially vulnerable and we want to remind each of our community residents that they play an important role in helping too.”
The campaign includes a video series that begins with the release of messages from both M.P.P. John Yakabuski and Executive Director of FCSRC, Kathy Davis on Family and Children’s Services of Renfrew County’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Mr. Yakabuski reminds us that in difficult times, it’s part of our fabric in Renfrew County to come together to help each other. He also highlights the recent announcement of the Ontario government’s COVID-19 Action Plan to support the most vulnerable in the province and acknowledges the agencies doing this work. Ms. Davis details the efforts FCSRC is taking to support families and emphasizes the importance of reaching out to the organization if support is needed or if community members should have a concern for a child or youth’s safety.
The Phoenix Centre for Children and Families, Bernadette McCann House, the Upper Ottawa Valley Detachment of the O.P.P. and CSC Jeanne-Lajoie, pavilion secondaire have also joined the campaign efforts with their messages of support. Additionally, FCSRC is inviting all local organizations and community members available to help to take a photo with a #HeretoHelpRC sign and the phone number families can call if they need help.
Like all essential services, Family and Children’s Services of Renfrew County has made some creative modifications to how we service families, but we would like to assure the community that we are open, and actively working with families to ensure safety and access to resources. As an example, we’ve introduced a care bundle outreach program to support families that have challenges getting food and other essential items. What has not changed is a focus on providing services that promote important family and cultural connection for all infants, children and youth and a continued practice of acknowledging that every family situation is unique and assessing each situation individually.
Supporting families during especially difficult times is why Family and Children’s Services of Renfrew County exists. Any family that is in need of support is encouraged to call the agency at 613-735-6866 and a staff member will provide assistance. FCSRC’s phone line remains open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to address any concern for a child or youth and the agency continues to support homeless youth and those at-risk as part of the Renfrew County Safe Shelter for Youth program. Any questions or referrals related to this program can be made by calling 613-735-6866.
For local support information and resources for families related to COVID-19, please visit this link.