Month: March 2020

Tips for Virtual Visitation

In light of the recent pandemic, the Department of Child Safety has enacted Social Distancing Protocol – Level 2 which means all court hearings, TDMS, parenting time, and home visitation from case managers and licensing staff will be temporarily conducted virtually. To get the latest news regarding Covid-19 and the Department of Child Safety please visit the State’s information and resources.

We understand the level of stress and uncertainty this can cause for all parties involved and as an agency want you to know we are here to support you. Everyone will be new to this virtual visitation thing. We appreciate your grace and patience as details and technology are navigated.

We also understand that virtual visits aren’t the most engaging for children and their families. One goal of visitation is to promote bonding and another is to assure safety for children and their biological families. Here are some helpful tips for virtual visits written by our staff member and former foster mom Amy Goshow. We hope these tips will help your foster children and their parents have successful visitations while they are unable to be in the same physical space.

Remember, change is hard and scary. Some children may feel awkward, sad or frightened having to visit their family virtually. 

~ have a quiet place away from the other children

~ let the child have their favorite toy/ stuffed (or real) animal to show their parent

~ have the child read their favorite book to their parent

~ discuss beforehand some topics the child can bring up, or a couple jokes or riddles

~ younger children can play with playdough or color while visiting 

~If you have a performer let them play their instrument, or sing 

~ Let this time be as stress-free as possible for all involved. A great way to model that is through your patience and kindness

Remember that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”  Psalm 46:1

Praying for you and the children in your care.

Coronavirus and visitations

The following is the latest from the Office of Licensing regarding the Coronavirus and visitation:

I know there has been a widespread of concern regarding the Coronavirus so please keep yourselves healthy! The following was just received regarding how this virus may impact mandated shared parenting/visitations. Please share with all licensing staff and families. As always the families should defer to the direction of the assigned case managers.

For children in care:

  • All regular activities for children including attending school, visitation, treatments, etc. should proceed as scheduled.
  • If a child is presenting as symptomatic including fever with cough or shortness of breath, please contact the child’s primary care physician for direction as you would during cold and flu season.
    • Children displaying these symptoms should remain home from activities until they are symptom-free without aide of medication for at least 24 hrs.
    • Any missed visits or court-ordered activities should be handled per regular procedures.  If the child’s illness extends such that more than 2 weeks of visits are missed, please escalate that information to the Program Administrator.
  • If the child’s primary care physician recommends that a youth be tested for COVID-19, please follow the direction of the physician and also contact CMDPmember services so they are aware of the testing.