Hope in the Face of Adversity

  •  March 11, 2021

“Hope itself is like a star — not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity.”
– 18th Century preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Over the past year, we’ve all experienced much adversity as a result of the pandemic: as a nation, an agency, and in our personal lives. The children and families served by LCFS have also faced many challenges as a result of COVID-19, including financial struggles, child care issues, and mental health needs. In the face of adversity, LCFS, with your help, provided some hope to those in our care by being a part of their circle of support.

The day-to-day work of LCFS changed dramatically during the past year, but our mission hasn’t wavered. When the pandemic started last March, LCFS staff quickly transitioned to working remotely and utilizing virtual platforms. Our counselors began providing tele-health services, which they’re still doing today. Adoption staff took necessary precautions, but continued providing services to expectant parents and prospective adoptive families, both virtually and in-person, so that children found forever homes. Child Welfare workers transitioned to virtual visits with foster children and helped families get connected with computers, internet and other resources for at-home learning.

Early on in the pandemic there was a huge need to support our foster families with the transition to remote learning. LCFS staff talked with schools and foster parents and found ways to assist. Part of that support was helping to get children computers for virtual learning. Our donors helped meet those needs with your gifts to the emergency fund. Thank you!

Many foster children have not fully returned to in-person school schedules. So, foster parents continue to play the role of teacher too. These changes have caused some children to feel isolated from their peers, so LCFS’ clinical staff have been working closely with foster parents to provide support when needed.

“My staff and I have been forever changed by this experience,” explains LCFS Director of Child Welfare in Southern Illinois Kris Martin. “Nothing at this point has returned to normal. This new way of doing things is the new normal.”

Today, staff are still working remote and only going into the office on staggered shifts when necessary. They’ve begun some in-person visits again, but miss being able to really interact and play with the children like before. Creativity has been the key as staff found innovative ways to connect with children and families and get them the resources they need.

“The good to come out of our new normal is that working mostly remotely made us begin to use technology more (e-signatures, virtual meetings, etc.), putting us more in alignment with corporate business practices in a good way,” explained LCFS Director of Child Welfare in Northern Illinois Arlene Mitchell.

Thankfully, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, vaccinations will be a turning point in the fight against COVID-19. But no matter what the future holds, we want to thank you for standing by our side during these difficult times. You’re an important part of the circle of support for the people we serve and the LCFS Family.

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