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As of June 30, our CHS offices have closed statewide to best protect the health and safety of team members, the children and families we serve, and others in our communities. All programs remain operational. Our residential facilities also remain fully operational.

Only essential personnel will be permitted in CHS offices until further notice, and masks must be worn at all times. Additionally, any essential personnel in the office is required to follow CDC preventive guidelines.

We continue to closely monitor the situation, and we encourage everyone to practice proper preventive measures.

Get the information you’re looking for here:

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Team Member Information

Telework

CHS offices statewide are closed until further notice. Team members who can work remotely should do so. If you aren’t sure if your role allows you to remotely or if you are unable to, please work with your supervisor to determine the appropriate course of action. If you have a question about your role, please speak directly with your supervisor.

Any essential personnel in a CHS office must wear masks at all times and practice social distancing. Further, mask face coverings MUST be worn covering both your nose and mouth, and these practices must also be followed anytime there is client interaction. When using public items such as coffee-makers or water dispensers, disposable gloves MUST be used, and at the conclusion of each workday, sanitizing wipes MUST be used to wipe down worksites.

For full guidance, please refer to our Team Member COVID-19 FAQ document on our SharePoint homepage.

If you experience any IT difficulties, please use the Help Desk ticketing system to submit work orders.

Unless otherwise notified, court appointments should continue as usual. We will update this page if there are changes to the protocol.

Meetings

All meetings MUST be conducted via web-based resources, such as Skype, Zoom or by conference call. We have postponed and will reschedule our Executive Listening Tours later in the year.

Home-Visiting Protocol & Precautions

When at all possible, home visits and clinical counseling sessions will be conducted virtually, following the guidelines provided by ACHA.

If a virtual visit is not possible, team members should ONLY consider a face-to-face visit with safety protocols after attempts to conduct via telephone have been made.

When meeting in person, we encourage you to utilize outdoor areas to conduct visits, remain at a safe distance and to always ask the questions outlined in our screening questionnaire, available in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole.

Please visit the FAQ document on the intranet for the most up-to-date guidance on client visits.

For the health and well-being, and that of our clients, please be sure you are practicing the preventive tips here.

Team members who work in residential programs, please contact your supervisor with any specific questions regarding any protocol changes during this time.

Travel

CHS is suspending all out-of-state work-related travel. For direct care programs, CHS is suspending all out-of-state work-related travel. Please communicate with your CBC should any out-of-state child safety issues arise. Please work with your local leadership to make arrangements to cancel any non-essential travel that is scheduled to occur over the next 30 days, which may include conferences and trainings. We will continue to send updates as to when travel may resume.

Out-of-State Travel

If team members are travelling out of state, please notify your Talent business partner so we can review your return-to-work clearance and related protocol.

Sick Leave

Supervisors: Should any team member request to use sick leave, please approve the request.

FMLA/Medical Leave

Supervisors: For team members who are out for more than five days, please offer FMLA leave and follow the FMLA request process. If a team member reports that they have been exposed or have concerns that they may have been exposed, please contact your local Talent Business Partner who will help you with next steps for medical leave and return to work procedures.

Funder Concerns

If an external funder has a request outside of one of the CHS directives above, please contact Heather Vogel, Chief Talent Officer, to discuss prior to taking any action.

CHS-Sponsored Events (Internal & External)

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.

Internal Events
• Program-specific events such as program recruitment events and program support group meetings, among many others, are suspended until further notice.
• The CHS Listening Tour has also been postponed and we will reschedule for future dates.

External Events
• CHS-sponsored fundraising and donor relations events have been postponed until further notice. Additional information will be communicated as new arrangements are made.

Programs & Services

Program-Related Events

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, this includes all program-related events.

If you have a CHS professional — like a Case Manager, Counselor or Family Support Worker — that you work with regularly, please reach out to them directly with any questions. For other inquiries or if you are unable to reach your assigned contact, please call your local office as we are checking voicemails daily.

Virtual Visits

When at all possible, client visits will be conducted virtually. If a virtual visit is not possible, team members should speak with a supervisor.

All clinical counseling sessions should be held online via telehealth during this time.
We will continue to work with our other partners and funders on solutions that can best help protect the health and well-being of team members and clients.

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. This includes fundraising and donor recognition events. Until further notice, board meetings, event committee meetings, etc. will be held virtually. We understand this may be disappointing for many, but the health and well-being of our clients, team members, donors, boards and others is far too important.

We are diligently and carefully discussing how to move forward with rescheduling if/when it is possible, and we will share details as they become available.

 


 

Donations & Volunteers

  • Thank you for thinking of our children and families at this time. As we place top priority on the health, safety and well-being of our children and families, team members, volunteers, and donors, we are not currently accepting in-kind material donations, such as food, clothing and other non-monetary goods. We are also placing a hold on volunteer inquiries at this time.
  • Children’s Home Society of Florida remains 100% committed to meeting the needs of our children and families during this unprecedented time, and we are accepting financial donations to help continue to carry out our mission in this community. If you would like to donate, please visit www.chsfl.org/givenow.
  • We appreciate your understanding and support!

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. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • woman covering their mouth when coughing

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.

Community Resources

As community resources come our way, we’ll add below so they’re easily accessible:

  • Florida Prepaid College Plans are waiving the $50 application fee for a limited time with code VPK1920. This resource helps parents save for their kids’ future college expenses through flexible, prepaid plans. To learn more, visit myfloridaprepaid.com
  • Get up-to-date info on COVID-19’s growth in Florida, by going directly to the source: the Florida Department of Health’s virtual dashboard here.
  • If you spot price-gouging at a gas station or store, report here.
  • To stay “in-the-know” on our latest school closure news, inquire here.
  • For information on obtaining FREE meals for kids and teens, visit this site.
  • Food and education resources for distance learning are available here.
  • Tax relief and extension details are available per the IRS here.

Internet resources:

Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone:
Xfinity WiFi hotspots located in businesses and outdoor locations across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers.

For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a browser.

Comcast Internet Essentials Free to New Customers:
Now it’s even easier for low-income families who live in a Comcast service area to sign-up for Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program.

New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. Additionally, for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect for no additional fee and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward.   https://www.internetessentials.com/

You qualify if:

  • You are eligible for public assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI and others.
  • You do not have outstanding debt to Comcast that is less than a year old. Families with outstanding debt more than one-year-old may still be eligible.
  • You live in an area where Comcast Internet service is available.
  • You are not an existing Xfinity Internet customer and have not subscribed to Xfinity Internet in the last 90 days.

Apply here: https://internetessentials.com/apply

Once approved it takes 5-7 business days.

Spectrum:
Charter Communications, Spectrum’s parent company, announced Friday that beginning March 16, it will make its services available for free for 60 days to households with K–12 and/or college students who do not already have internet through the company. Optional in-home Wi-Fi service at $5/month.

  • Free Internet modem
  • High-speed Internet at 30 Mbps
  • No data caps
  • No contracts

You can qualify for this offer if you:

  • Have a student of qualifying age at your service address with remote education needs
  • Have not subscribed to our internet services within the past 30 days

Call (855) 243-8892 to sign up for this offer. 

Free Internet & Communications Providers

AT&T
AT&T has expanded eligibility for its low-cost internet program & new customers get 2 months of free service. In addition to SNAP recipients, the expansion covers households participating in the National School Lunch Program & Head Start.

Learn more and apply here – https://m.att.com/shopmobile/internet/access/

Unlimited AT&T Home Internet:  All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited internet data. Additionally, we’ll continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through our Access from AT&T program. We’ve expanded eligibility to Access from AT&T to households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start. Additionally, we’re offering new Access from AT&T customers two months of free service.

Additionally, to help keep families connected during this uncertain time, AT&T is also funding 60 days of free access and unlimited usage of Caribu, a video-calling application that allows family members to read, draw, and play games with one another while in distant locations. The Caribu application, which integrates children’s books, coloring activities, and games will be available to families across the country and around the world, free of cost, for the next two months.

Cox Communications
New customers will receive their first month of service free. Offer available through May 12, 2020. Remote customer service support at no charge between now and May 12, 2020. In-home modem included.

  • $9.95 per month (plus taxes)
  • 10 Mbps
  • No term commitment
  • No deposit
  • No installation fee

Effective Monday, March 16, Cox Communications is providing:

  • Limited-time, first two months free of Connect2Compete service, $9.95/month thereafter
  • Until May 15, 2020, we are providing phone and remote desktop support through Cox Complete Care at no charge to provide peace of mind and ease for technology needs
  • Resources for discounted, refurbished equipment through our association with PCs for People
  • A Learn from Home toolkit for schools, including instructions on how to fast-track eligible students without internet access Download toolkit
  • Offer expires 5/15/2020. Cox Complete Care in-home support excluded. Program eligibility and other restrictions apply. Learn more at www.cox.com/c2c.
  • To Qualify: Families with K-12 children who are eligible for the National School Lunch Program, SNAP, and/or TANF; who receive Tenant-Based Vouchers, Project-Based Vouchers or Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA); and/or who live in Public Housing

Apply for service: https://www.cox.com/residential-shop/wls/order-cox-services.cox

 

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