A Child and Family Programs service provider in Saskatchewan has provided us with their perspective on what it has been like to work with children and families during COVID-19. They stated that the COVID-19 restrictions have made visitation and trust building with children and families difficult to say the least.
“Virtual visitation sets back the relationship one can have with clients; the rapport in several cases has been lacking,” the service provider reported.
“Support services within the community are not readily available to support parents and children within their homes which has made it difficult to case plan. Visitation plans have also been a struggle during COVID restrictions as we must also follow household regulations and supports have not been able to supervise visits within the home or outside of the home at this time,” they added.
The service provider noted there is a continuous need to adapt practices and balance the best interests of the child, both physically and emotionally.
“On one hand, we are assessing the physical safety of the families we work with due to COVID health regulations. On the other hand, we are also assessing the emotional impact this may have on the families we work with as visitation has been less frequent due to closure of community visitation supports and household restrictions. Our work during this time has been a balancing act of both striving to keep families physically safe and to continue maintaining familial bonds/emotional strength,” they said.
Despite the hardships of supporting children and families during a global pandemic, the service provider noted that this has pushed their agency and other community supports to adapt their practices and be creative in finding new ways to work with families. They believe this will inevitably benefit their agency’s outlook on case planning, visitation, and managing support systems.