COVID19 (Coronavirus) Updates

During difficult times our children are in even greater need of a nurturing and safe family setting. We are still accepting applications for new families here.

As a provider of essential services as defined by the state, our objective is to continue to operate on a remote basis.  In accordance with the Stay at Home directive issued by Governor Cooper, our offices will remain closed to the public until April 30th. Our staff will have access as needed in accordance with the guidelines. Please be assured that our staff will remain accessible, continuing to work remotely as we continue to provide professional support and services to our families and children.

As we continue to closely monitor the situation, we also encourage everyone to practice proper preventive measures.

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For additional questions about COVID-19, you can contact us covid19info@chsnc.org and 1-800-632-1400.


1:45pm – March 30, 2020

We Believe In Families

As we continue to navigate the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, our first thought is for the safety and well-being of our families, children, clients and employees. At Children’s Home Society of North Carolina (CHS), we provide families with the support and resources they need to be a forever family. In these unprecedented times, it is important that we come together.

In response to developments around COVID-19, CHS has assembled a Response Team to monitor updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and our state and local governments. And, as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolves, our Response Team and Leadership Team are working hard to ensure our team has the information and materials needed to continue their work remotely as we continue to provide professional support and services to our clients, families and children while keeping our employees and communities safe.

We are following recommendations from federal, state and local authorities to help prevent the spread of the virus. While all of our employees are working remotely until April 30th, per the Stay at Home direction provided by Governor Cooper, some of our employees are continuing to access our offices as needed while complying with the guidelines.

CHS serves 20,000 children, families and professionals each year across North Carolina and beyond. Our work is vitally important and will continue. Here are some of the changes and enhancements we have implemented to keep our employees, families and clients safe:

  • All employees have been educated on COVID-19 symptoms, how to avoid spreading the virus and social distancing guidelines as directed by the CDC
  • We have created a mailbox for questions related to CHS or COVID-19 COVID19info@chsnc.org
  • We have enhanced cleaning procedures in our offices following CDC and public health guidance, and increased shipments of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes
  • Installed signs at offices to promote healthy work standards according to the CDC guidelines
  • We moved rapidly to establish remote-working opportunities for all staff and increased supports to aid social distancing
  • As our specialists meet with hundreds of families and young people, we are using these sessions to reinforce health education around limiting the virus’ spread and help families access information related to COVID-19
  • We are following state guidelines in accordance with all in-person visits and tele-visits. The vast majority of our work has moved to remote and virtual formats to limit in-person contacts.
  • We have eliminated all non-essential travel and discouraged all group gatherings
  • We have postponed and cancelled events and are developing ways to host events virtually in support of our mission
  • We have created the https://www.chsnc.org/covid19-coronavirus-updates site with updates and resources for navigating the COVID-10 virus

Safety is our top priority.

We will continue to monitor developments and will update our response and guidelines to best meet the needs of our families, children, clients and employees. Please send your questions or comments to COVID19info@chsnc.org.

We appreciate your continued support of Children’s Home Society of North Carolina in the days ahead and always.

Stay safe and be well.

 


Programs & Services

Our specialists meet with hundreds of families and young people several times each week in homes and communities across the state. They will use these sessions to reinforce health education around limiting the virus’s spread and to help families access health care and testing if needed. Please be assured that our staff will remain accessible, and we will continue to provide professional support and service to our clients. We will ensure families and young people know the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) an NCDHHS. Their recommendations include:

  • Wash hands frequently and for 20 seconds. Washing hands often under clean, running water can help prevent the spread of germs. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60-95% alcohol.
  • Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue to cover coughs and sneezes, then dispose of the tissue. When a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects. Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces at home, work, or school, especially when someone is ill.

Program-Related Events

Following recommendations by the governor to limit large social gatherings, we have made the decision to conduct program events virtually, if possible, or postpone until further notice. We will continue to monitor the situation and update the website. If you have any questions, please contact your local office.

Health Screening

Beginning March 17, our Child-Focused Recruitment, Intensive Family Preservation Specialists, and Foster Care staff will perform a health assessment screening over the phone before conducting an in-person session. Based on that assessment, we can help families or young people make appropriate health decisions and plan for safe sessions for our staff.

Additional Training and Sanitizing

Janitorial staff is increasing the frequency of cleaning in high-traffic areas in all our buildings. Our offices have the supplies needed and are following guidelines as outlined by the NCDHHS and CDC.


Updates for Donors & Supporters

Following recommendations by the governor to limit large social gatherings, we have made the decision to postpone or cancel all CHS-sponsored events (internally and externally) until further notice. To the extent possible, board meetings, event committee meetings, etc. will be held virtually. Recognizing that support for our children and families is even more vital in times of crisis, we are currently reviewing our upcoming donor and fundraising events and evaluating how to proceed so that we may continue to serve our families with the philanthropic support of our donors. We are diligently and carefully discussing how to move forward with rescheduling if/when it is possible and considering other avenues to engage with our CHS community. We will share details as they become available. We are closely monitoring the situation and will provide updates but in the meantime, the health and well-being of our clients, team members, donors, boards and others are far too important.


Team Member Information

Working Remotely

All CHS offices were closed to the public from March 16, 11 a.m. EDT, until further notice. While many of our employees are working remotely and without interruption, our offices remain open with the minimum on-site staffing needed to perform essential functions and support those who are working remotely. As always, we are focused on delivering excellent services to you in a timely manner, and we are confident that we will continue to be able to do so throughout this crisis.

CHS will follow state and local guidelines on Stay at Home proclamations and will close offices based on county guidelines. As a provider of essential services as defined by the state, our objective is to continue to operate on a remote basis. In compliance with the Mecklenburg County Stay at Home Proclamation, effective Thursday 3/26 through 4/16, we will be adjusting our office closure restrictions for the Charlotte office. Employees who need supplies or reference materials necessary to complete their jobs will have access on a limited basis.

Travel

CHS is suspending all non-essential work-related travel. Please be assured that our team members remain accessible, and we will continue to provide the full professional support and service to our clients, families, and children.

 


Preventive Tips

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the following are ways we can all work to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Hand Hygiene Basics – Video Training

Handwashing is one of the most important steps to break the chain of infection. This micro-course follows CDC recommendations and provides a refresher on the specific requirements to successfully stop the spread.

Avoid close contact

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Take steps to protect others

Stay home if you’re sick

  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Wear a facemask if you are sick

  • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

5:05 pm – March 13, 2020

We have been closely monitoring the COVID-19/Coronavirus outbreak, and we have established a CHS Response Team.  Our goal is to keep our staff and our CHS children and families safe, healthy, and informed.  At this time, we have no indication of direct exposure to our CHS staff or families.

In an abundance of caution and as advised by public health authorities, we will be taking preventative measures.  Please reach out to your local CHS contact with specific questions or concerns.  You may also send questions and concerns directly to us via email: COVID19info@chsnc.org

We are monitoring the CDC site about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will update this interim guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available. We will also coordinate with state and local officials via www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus [ncdhhs.gov] for reliable, up-to-date information. Since the intensity of an outbreak may differ according to geographic location, local health officials will be issuing guidance specific to their communities.

As a preventative measure, we wanted to share the following with our families that are recommendations:

  • For adults: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing, then wash your hands.  Maintain at least six feet distance from anyone coughing or sneezing.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • For children: Let’s continue to empower kids—at home—by reinforcing daily, multiple “handwashing moments.” Please make sure kids wash their hands before eating, coming back indoors, and when they come in contact with their bodily fluids (sneeze, wipe nose, etc). You can also encourage your children to use the imaginary cape routine: Raise an imaginary cape over your face and cough into the elbow area, instead of your hand or just straight into the air.

If you or a member of your family becomes ill, please call your CHS contact to report this information.  The health and safety of you and your family are our top priority.