Families who need support amid the pandemic can contact the “Family Support Warm Line” at 1-888-733-6303 to speak with a counselor via call or text.
With parents and children dealing with heightened levels of stress and anxiety amid the coronavirus pandemic, child welfare professionals have stepped up to help, even in the wee hours of the morning.
The Children’s Home Society of Florida has set up a 24-hour free counseling helpline for parents and children struggling to cope with problems that spurred out of the pandemic.
In recent months, children have had to cope with the sudden separation from teachers and friends, while their parents have had to deal with job losses or reduced hours. In some cases, these changes have caused immense stress for children and parents, alike.
“That’s why you see children having tantrums that have never had tantrums,” said Julie Taylor, licensed clinical program manager for the Children’s Home Society of Florida.
Child welfare professionals, she noted, are available to offer support to children and their parents through phone, text and video conferencing.
Since the helpline launched on May 1, Taylor has answered several calls from sleepless parents during her 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. shift.
For some parents, she said, overwhelming thoughts race through their minds during the early morning hours, prompting them to reach out for help.
Upon being connected with Taylor, parents in distress are reminded of the things they can control and the things they cannot. Taylor also gives them goals to work on later that day.
“When they become overwhelmed, they don’t know where to start,” she said. “If we can give them one or two tangible goals it lets them know, ‘OK, we’re not going to solve everything, but what if we solve two immediate needs.’”
Taylor added that the child welfare agency has a database full of services available to families in need. Parents who relied on school meals to feed their children, for instance, can be connected with local food banks providing free bags of food.
Those who need support amid the pandemic can contact the “Family Support Warm Line” at 1-888-733-6303 to speak with a counselor via call or text. Parents can also ask to set up a video call with a counselor for themselves or their children.
Originally posted by: Daytona Beach News Journal