COVID-19 and the Head Start Community

Family Engagement and Support

Improving Children’s Health Outcomes Amid a Global Pandemic

Baldwin Park Unified School District Early Childhood Education Program (BPUSD ECE), Baldwin Park, CA

With the American Rescue Plan funding, Baldwin Park Unified School District Early Childhood Education Program (BPUSD ECE) was able to bring on additional medical health professional consultants, such as registered nurses, registered dietitians, and a nurse practitioner consultant, to provide telehealth well-child exams, nutritional screenings and consultations, growth assessments, and more.

With the support of the family service workers, the BPUSD health team was able to schedule telehealth well-child exams. The exams were performed according to AAP Bright Futures Periodicity Schedule for students that were otherwise not able to receive medical care. The well-child exam included a review of health history, head to toe visual assessment, and risk assessments for anemia, lead poisoning, and tuberculosis. Medical statements were completed for children with food allergies to ensure that appropriate and safe meals were provided during the return of in-person instruction. If further testing or a more comprehensive exam was needed, a referral was sent to the child’s primary medical provider for follow-up care.

As a result of these efforts, a total of 216 students received telehealth well-child exams. Providing this service ensured that children received continued routine health check-ups and increased our PIR for physical exams by 24% for Head Start and 23% for Early Head Start programs.

To address the health concerns caused by distance learning during the pandemic and to meet health related school requirements, the BPUSD ECE program organized a health fair that had registered nurse consultants, licensed vocational nurses, registered dietitian consultants, and nurse practitioner consultants. This health fair was also organized as a response to the anticipated increase in referrals for vision problems and dietary concerns. During the event, hearing, vision screenings, growth, and risk assessments were completed for all participants. COVID prevention measures were practiced ensuring the safety of all participants and staff during the event.

Educating the Local Community

Southwest Cap (SWCAP) Head Start, Dodgeville, WI

SWCAP Head Start program is working with UW Madison Prevention Research Center on a pilot project to create a partnership between home visitors and local health departments. The goal is to allow home visitors to distribute information and resources from their local health departments quickly and effectively to the families in the community. They are currently focusing on resources with information about COVID–19 and the vaccines. The project’s grant has been extended for another year, so they are going to continue to educate the local community on the COVID-19 vaccine through a Zoom town hall with home visitors, families, and local doctors. SWCAPS hopes to create a discussion so people can become more educated on the topic and hopefully decrease the vaccine hesitancy that exists in rural communities.

Here are some messages from home visitors currently in the pilot program with their families:

“I home visit (virtually) many families in the Lafayette County area. Most of the families I work with are Spanish speaking. They were very interested in learning more about COVID. I shared the information verbally with the families on our call because most of the families are not able to read and have attended less than 6th grade of school. They are receptive and appreciative of the information that I share with them. The families that work outside of the home understood the PPE precautions because they follow the guidelines at their place of employment.” — Paula

“I work with the SWCAP Iowa/Grant County Early Head Start program and have been participating in a COVID pilot, sharing some valuable information with the families I serve. There is a wide variety of handouts covering different concerns with COVID that families have found interesting. For any concern or confusion had about COVID, I was able to find them a handout with tons of great information. I have had great response from a few of my families!” — Natasha

Families are already benefiting from the information they are receiving. Some of these families wouldn’t have received the information if they weren’t involved in Head Start or this pilot program. Throughout the project, families have already been given masks, hand sanitizer, many handouts, and support. They have gained knowledge through discussion with home visitors. The program hopes to continue to support families and answer their questions.

An Emergency Hotline, Curriculum Kits, and Weekly Zooms To Keep Families Supported

Pathways for Children, Gloucester, Salem, and Beverly, MA

The program’s social workers set up an emergency hotline so families could reach out for anything they needed. This line was monitored 24/7. Pathways for Children was able to quickly set up a COVID-19 family resource page on their website along with weekly curriculum and community resources links for parents. They delivered curriculum kits to all Head Start families, and diapers to families who needed them. After the first month of closure, the program was able to provide weekly family Zooms lead by both Head Start and Early Head Start (EHS) teachers. The program also transitioned from hard copy applications, upgrading their website to provide an automated intake process. This enabled families easy access to submit Head Start and Early Head Start applications. Pathways Family Enrichment program conducted parent groups virtually, which was extended to Head Start and Early Head Start families. 

Social workers unloading boxes.Using Various Technologies to Enhance Connection to Families

York County, Sanford, ME

The grantee used COVID-19 funds to create a lending library for enrolled children. It provided portable technology with internet capability to allow for participation in remote learning. The grantee also was able to purchase the  Teaching Strategies: Creative Curriculum Cloud package. This digital curriculum allows the program to provide virtual and remote services with fidelity. An educational toolbox was supplied to families so they could start off with additional materials while children are learning at home. COVID-19 funds allowed the grantee to purchase the Learning Genie Application for center-based classrooms. It allows education staff to connect with families daily and engage them in their child’s learning and activities in the classroom. This is a shift from seeing families every day on-site to now doing drop-off and pick-up outside with alternative staff.

Washers and Dryers Among Equipment Purchased

Southeastern Vermont Community Action, Westminster, VT

The grantee spent Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds on many things, such as personal protective equipment. Additionally, the grantee purchased washers and dryers and had them installed at all four centers so they did not have to burden families with washing masks or nap blankets/sheets daily. They also bought laptops for staff and families to use for remote learning.

Assisting a Single Mom of Three to Help Her Make Ends Meet

Rooftop of Virginia Community Action Program, Fries, Galax, and Hillsville, VA 

A single mom of three children could not work due to lack of day care in the area and the grantee being closed due to the pandemic. As a result, she struggled to make ends meet and provide for her family. The grantee, along with support from other agencies and the CARES Act funding, assisted mom with paying bills and acquiring additional food supplies. The grantee reports that the increase level of interactions between them and families has helped to strengthen the family engagement component. 

Classrooms in a Backpack

New River Community Action, Inc., Radford, VA

Using CARES Act funding, the grantee assembled and distributed “Classrooms in a Backpack” for each of their enrolled families. Backpacks were purchased and filled with books, manipulatives, educational games, and other learning supplies. In addition, weekly lesson plans and educational activities are created by program staff and dropped off to families each week. An additional focus of the project is to help families create at-home learning libraries.

Mother with two children receiving a box.Summer Programming for Children with IEPs

North Central West Virginia Community Action Association, Marion, Preston, Randolph, and Tucker, WV

A summer program was offered to 3- and 4-year-olds with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). The goal for this summer option was to prepare the children for kindergarten and provide services to children with special needs. Teachers completed activities virtually with pre-K children and their parents. Families were provided with iPads to use during the summer virtual program that ran from July 6–31, 2020. Teachers completed a virtual, individualized activity each week that was based on the child’s individual needs. Activities pertained to math, science, social and emotional skills, language, and literacy. Teachers met with each child on Zoom for virtual activities. Each meeting was recorded so the teacher could go back and take observations on the activities. Teachers could assess each child to determine what skills to work on with them over the month. 

The summer program provided each enrolled child a backpack filled with supplies to use over the course of the month’s daily activities. Each family was given a box of nonperishable items for the duration of the month’s program operation. Every family was supplied two plants, soil, gardening tools, and two gardening pots. Several families shared the joy in growing a small garden with their family.

Adjusting Schedules

Council of Three Rivers American Indian Committee, Pittsburgh, Dorseyville, McKeesport, Penn Hills, and Monroeville, PA

For virtual services, family advocates and teaching and health/mental health staff have scheduled their activities on certain days of the week so there is coordination with families identifying specific days for specific services.

Delivery of Essential Health and Safety Supplies

Lifesteps, Inc., Philadelphia, PA

The grantee provided and delivered essential baby supplies and educational items, selected by EHS families, directly to their homes each month as a supplement. They used funds to set up Zoom accounts to remotely interact with all EHS families weekly. Additionally, the grantee purchased a variety of health and safety items to create kits for families and staff to use now and during future home visits. Funds were also used to have professional, monthly office cleanings.

Crisis Supplies Provided to Every Family in Need

Private Industry Council of Westmoreland and Fayette Counties, Greensburg, PA

The grantee provided individual tote boxes for children to use both at home and in class. The totes include scissors, paper, paint, sorting bears, crayons, markers, paint brushes, liquid timers, and other consumable items. The items are used to support virtual lessons with the teaching staff. Staff provide parents guidance on how to extend learning in the home using the items provided. Thermometers were also sent home to every enrolled family.

Recently, a parent stopped in the office to update a parental release form. While there, she complimented the program on how useful the tote and materials have been. She said it was the best thing they did to support the family with virtual instruction. She said her daughter is so excited to have her individual box and pulls it out when she is getting ready for her lessons. 

Crisis supplies were also supplied to families. Staff members contacted families several times a week to ensure they were well and identify any unmet needs. Staff delivered diapers, wipes, formula, cleaning supplies, masks, food, and other items families requested. Often, the supplies had to be purchased or picked up at local food banks for delivery. This was quite an undertaking for the staff with the number of families served and given that the state was operating in the red. There was little to no information related to COVID-19 and how infection could be spread, yet the staff continued to support families. Masks were difficult to find early on. One mom was an essential worker and was unable to find masks. The program provided those masks to her so that she could continue to work.

Staff have said when children returned, the transition was so much smoother than previous years. It was attributed to the virtual lessons with families for the first 30 days. Parents got to know the staff and see them work with the children, children got to know their teacher in a safe and comfortable environment, classroom rules were reviewed, children practiced wearing masks, and parents got to see what accommodations and changes they made to the classroom to protect their children. This was all done virtually using an iPad.

Child doing gardening.Encouraging Families to Be the Facilitator of Learning for the Child Within the Home

Lawrence County Social Services, New Castle, PA

Remote instruction has provided a connection with families that we had not anticipated, encouraging them to be the facilitator of learning for their child in the home. Teachers are sharing learning activities with the families via Class DoJo. They prompt families to use everyday household materials to support childrens learning and to capture the learning process via video or photo to share (along with commentary, of course) with the teachers. This documentation of the learning process is then turned into data that is entered into their assessment system. Families are becoming confident in their “new role” and are appreciating being able to witness and identify the learning as it is occurring. The expectation is that these experiences will provide a positive long-term impact on family engagement in child learning going forward.

Curbside Care Packages

Community Action Partnership, Culman, AL

The CARES Act funding has helped this program serving rural families put together care packages that are delivered to each home. Care packages contain children’s activities, calendars, books, nutrition information and recipes, formula, diapers, wipes, baby food, easy-open snacks, a list of local resources, staff contact information, and more. Center directors are ordering items online and using curbside pick-up for care packages to help meet the individual needs of the families.

Coordinating Supply Pick-ups with On-site Health Screenings

Macon-Bibb County Economic Opportunity Council, Inc., Macon, GA 

The CARES Act funding has benefited this program in many ways. On Mondays and Wednesdays, families come to their childs designated Head Start or Early Head Start location to pick up food, educational resources, health and safety items, essentials, etc. The family simply drives through to pick up items. Family services, health, and mental health staff also use these days to conduct on-site health screenings and assessments for children, retrieve documents, and connect with parents.

E-Learning Trainings for a Parent

Illinois Action for Children, Chicago and Homewood, IL

During visits this week, a mom and parent educator discussed e-learning. Mom is stressed working with three children that are enrolled in e-learning. Finally, she got each of their learning areas set up. She was also able to plan her schedule with the parent educator so that each childs school session does not interfere. She read to the baby and they enjoyed a fun-filled day of screenings and milestones. Mom extended the activity to later in the day, and the baby enjoyed reading and fell asleep while learning. This mom has been successful with navigating Zoom links and also participating in virtual visits.

Contact-free Service Provision

Neighbors in Need of Services, Inc. (NINOS), Rio Hondo, TX

NINOS is using the CARES Act funding to continue to meet Head Start Program Performance Standards and help staff, families, and children transition to enter the new COVID normal by providing virtual and in-person services. Once Cameron and Willacy Counties went into lockdown, NINOS immediately began delivering instructional packets and hot meals to the families. Staff received the necessary professional development to prepare for virtual and in-person classrooms and implemented electronic systems to avoid in-person contact. As the program prepared to resume in-person services, personal protective equipment and supplies were distributed to the centers. NINOS also sent a revised parent operational policy manual with new CDC requirements and a children’s book that addressed masks, social distancing, and hand-washing in school to help families prepare for the centers reopening.

The program continued to provide essential services to children and families remotely and through contact-free methods. Family service staff networked with each other to seek out as many community resources as possible. Program staff reached out to all families to ensure they were aware of resources such as community food pick-up locations, unemployment applications, public assistance, and emergency services during the pandemic. NINOS staff also became great advocates for families who could not participate in community assistance programs due to lack of transportation. For example, an elderly guardian of a child enrolled in the program was extremely afraid of getting sick and did not want to go out. Since most community organizations required individuals to pick up food and goods, the guardian did not receive any services. NINOS staff contacted organizations to advocate for the familys extreme need and circumstance. The staff were able to coordinate with the organizations and arrange for social service staff to pick up the boxes of food, produce, and household items and deliver them to the family.

Health Screening Equipment to Meet the Needs of Children and Families During the Pandemic

Tri-County Community Action, Inc., Bureau, Carroll, LaSalle, Lee, Marshall, Ogle, Putnam, Stark, and Whiteside, IL

The health team has been challenged this year with COVID-19. State health screenings were suspended, forcing parents to get children to doctors offices for screenings. Tri-County has purchased Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) instruments to screen infants and toddlers for hearing and a photo screener/spot vision screener for vision. The grantee has been successful in early detection of potential problems and children have been referred to their primary care providers. The grantee will continue to strive to get screenings completed for all children in the program so they can be referred for follow-up if necessary. The program is looking to invest in additional screening equipment to better meet the needs of children and families during this pandemic.

Creation of a Mobile Wellness Unit

Family, Inc.Council Bluffs, IA

With money from the CARES Act funding, Family, Inc. plans to purchase a 31-foot trailer in order to launch a mobile wellness unit to serve southwest Iowa, particularly in the rural communities. The wellness unit will enhance the grantees EHS home-based program by increasing the number of screenings, services, connections to medical and dental homes, and community referrals available to families during the pandemic. The mobile wellness unit is expected to mitigate a host of access barriers, such as transportation issues, difficulties making appointments, long waiting times, and complex administrative processes. It will help and encourage vulnerable populations to receive the necessary health services.

The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to service gaps, as there are reported reductions in the immunization rates for children under 2, child screening services, and preventive dental services. The overall goal of the unit is to increase access to comprehensive services for children, and pregnant women by providing all needed services at once, in a safe and sanitized environment.

School District Collaboration to Provide Consistency for Families

Economic Security Corp., Joplin, MO

Each year, grantee programs work collaboratively with each school district to ensure that children with special needs receive high-quality services and interventions. The collaboration is outlined in a memorandum of understanding and implemented in a variety of ways. This year, programs faced many challenges due to COVID-19, such as getting these children the services that they need while not putting other children at risk by having outside providers in the classroom.

The grantee is particularly proud of the innovative approach established with the Carthage school district. The Carthage Head Start staff developed a partnership with the school district several years ago, and an early childhood special education teacher from the school district is now housed in the Carthage Head Start center. This partnership eliminated the need for children to be transported to another location to receive services and allowed them to learn in their own classroom. It also provided consistency in that one person provided all the services to our Head Start children. 

When presented with restrictions from the pandemic, the Head Start program started brainstorming with the school district on ideas to continue that quality of services. Area supervisor Kathy Miller presented the idea to make a change to the childs IEP and name the Head Start teacher as the implementer of services and overseen by the school district. The school district agreed.

The Carthage school district now provides a packet that is specifically designed for the child with the IEP. They meet with Head Start staff every other week, via phone or Zoom, to discuss progress and needs. This is working very well. Its strengthening the programs partnership with their school district and building the skills of their teaching staff. The teachers are very appreciative of the opportunity to be implementers and partners with our local school district. And best of all, children are receiving the services they need.

Regular Virtual Visits and Delivery of Activity Packets

Clay Center, Clay Center, KS

During the spring shutdown, this program had a military mom who did not know many people in the area. She was pregnant and had a 2-year-old daughter. She looked forward to our virtual visits and our delivery of activity packets. When the program staff would do a virtual visit, she would be so full of talk that we often went over our allotted time. The staff was able to praise her potty training and vocabulary building efforts. Her little girl, who had an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), tested out of services and is on level now. The mother said, I guess I really am my childs best teacher! The program was so proud of her! Without the visits and the packets, she would have been alone without guidance during those months. What a blessing the CARES Act funds have been to this family who is serving our country in the military.

Child drawing.Intentional Engagement with Head Start Fathers

Kansas Educational Service Center, Oakley, KS

A success for this program during this time of COVID-19 has been more engagement with fathers. The staff provides family therapy and social work services to Head Start and Early Head Start families. To the program’s surprise, many men seem more comfortable with the virtual format than with in-person work. In the program’s current caseload, approximately half of the dads are participating, at least part time, in their therapy sessions.

Continuing Family Needs Assessments Throughout the Summer

Nebraska CAA, Chadron, NE

In June 2020, staff conducted a COVID-19 Family Needs Assessment Survey with all enrolled families, ranking their current situation in seven categories. After compiling the results, it was determined that the family engagement specialist, who was usually off for summer break, would stay on over the summer in order to support the families with their various needs. Staff contacted families at a minimum of twice a week, delivered food and diapers weekly, and connected them with other community resources. They were also able to support families with internet access and devices if that was an area of need. Virtual interactions took place to continue to support the families with educational activities for their children, and also on topics such as parenting and stress relief skills. Children in quarantine with a possible exposure are receiving educational activities and a food supplement packet on days that they can't attend school.

Creation and Distribution of Lizard Lee Books to Ease Children’s Transition Back to In-Person Services

Southwest Human Development, Phoenix, AZ

Southwest Human Development serves over 1,200 Head Start and Early Head Start children in Arizona. To support families with communicating the impact of and changes due to the pandemic, the grantee created Lizard Lee books for families and children. The books convey changes in school practices and routines to ease children's transition back to in-person services. Children get a digital copy of the books as part of their orientation back to school. Lizard Lee demonstrates all the new routines and procedures, such as getting a temperature check, wearing a mask, and washing hands. The books are made available to families in English and Spanish versions, and with and without audio. 

Partnership with Local Public Television Station to Support Head Start Virtual Services

American Samoa Department of Education

American Samoa Department of Education’s Head Start team partnered with the Office of Public Informations local public television. They broadcast a new Head Start episode three days each week to support virtual services to children and families. American Samoa provides services to over 1,300 families enrolled in the Head Start program; however, this broadcast show is available for everyone to benefit from these child development supports. The TV show has become a local hit for all families on the islands. The program brought the classroom to the studio and includes Circle Time-style format, field trips, dramatic play, singing, and other activities touching on the central domains of the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework.

Creation of “I Am Going Back to School” Book for Families and Children

Kai Ming, Inc., San Francisco, CA

Kai Ming, Inc., serves over 300 children in San Francisco, CA. The grantee staff developed “I Am Going Back to School” books for families and children in English, Spanish, and Chinese versions. The books were developed by their early learning coaches and illustrated by their art education coordinator. Staff were excited to share this with all of Region IX in the hopes it may also be helpful and used as a part of your preparations for reopening and children’s transition back into classrooms.

Social and Emotional Cards to Help Families Process and Communicate with Children

Vista Del Mar Child & Family Services, Los Angeles, CA

Vista Del Mar Child & Family Services created social and emotional cards in English and Spanish as one tool to support providers, staff, and families with how to process and communicate with children about all the COVID-19 changes. This is a beautiful example of how programs are paying special attention to the social and emotional needs of our children and supporting staff and families with a toolbox of strategies. 

Bus assistant talking with mother at the bus stop.Weekly Newsletter with Strategies, Tips, Activities, and Resources to Support Early Learning

Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), Los Angeles, CA

LACOE created a weekly newsletter to provide teachers and families with strategies, tips, activities, and resources that continue to support early learning for children transitioning from Early Head Start into Head Start and Head Start to kindergarten. The weekly newsletter provides teachers and families with Creative Curriculum, Second Step, and Parents as Teachers activities that can be conducted through distance learning. Transitioning families received transition kits with classroom supplies that can be used at home. Additionally, helpful links for e-learning videos, read-alouds, and hands-on and live activities are streamed on LACOE’s Head Start and early learning’s social media platforms.

Utilizing Technology to Maintain Contact with Families

Rural Alaska CAP, AK

This program is utilizing technology, including tablets with Wi-Fi hotspots, to maintain contact and services to families in rural Alaska, which is vitally important as programs and tribes are going into lockdown again. Staff are able to send at-home work packets via these tablets and communicate regularly even if the families do not otherwise have internet or phone service. Having the Child and Adult Food Program (CACFP) waiver has ensured families continue receiving nutrition during this time.

Creation of Individual Virtual Sessions to Meet Family Needs

Neighbor Impact Early Head Start, Redmond, OR

The EHS program worked hard to provide virtual programming to the children and families served. It converted all documents to fillable forms so that home visits and conferences could be completed virtually via Zoom. The program is providing daily virtual classes where over half of the children attending. Those who are not able to attend because of conflicting schedules, day care, or other family situations are offered services on an individualized basis. Some of the individualized options include a guided family plan that match what happens in the Zoom class, supplies and lessons sent home, recordings of the Zoom class shared, and individualized activities to address school readiness goals. The program is using Ready Rosie to provide parenting support. Family night, Policy Council, and board meetings are continuing via Zoom. The EHS program is delivering meals to families weekly using support staff and bus drivers. Families receive all of the CACFP meal components that their child would have received while attending class, although it is now delivered to their home. The program also use these deliveries to send home items needed for Zoom classes, individualized activities, and support materials.

The EHS program has created a virtual program that is individualized and supports all children and families. Data shows that Spanish-speaking families, children with diagnosed disabilities, and families experiencing homelessness are all participating at the same rates as the other families. The program has been providing support to Spanish-speaking families using interpreters. They are in the planning phase of creating a Zoom class twice per week that will be conducted in Spanish. They have also collaborated with the Early Childhood Special Education program to provide services to children on an IFSP. The child and service provider join the Zoom class prior to the other students for individualized instruction based on the IFSP. Family advocates and teachers continue to work closely with every family to keep them engaged in the virtual platform in whatever way fits their family.

Making Adjustments to Make Families Feel More Comfortable

Community Action Team of Columbia County, St. Helens, OR

The grantee altered the format of their family orientations in response to COVID-19. They began conducting them one-on-one rather than in the traditional group style. They have noticed a marked decrease in separation anxiety for children at drop-off. Despite all of the increased health measures currently in place when caregivers are bringing their children to class, they are separating largely with ease. Children are also quicker to engage in the classroom environment. Families have reported really appreciating this approach, so they plan on adopting the process more permanently.

Training Staff in Seesaw Home Learning

Reno County Head Start, Hutchinson, KS

In Reno County, the pandemic has hit families hard. Many jobs have been affected and several businesses have gone out of business. But, as in many communities, there are kind and compassionate people. United Way has led a drive for community businesses to donate toward a fund to help families stay in homes, by paying rent or home payments. This program has served as a resource to connect families to United Way’s funding and other funding opportunities in the community.

Additionally, the program has utilized its CARES Act funding to order iPads for Head Start students. They have invested and trained staff in Seesaw for families to engage with teachers while in remote service delivery. Parents who have internet devices or have borrowed from others have started using the system. If no devices were available, the families used paper packets and the program distributed “tool kits” for children. Lastly, the grantee is using Crystal touch panels to help teachers connect with the families and Zoom calls to those quarantined.

Creation of “Need Banks”

Sheldon Head Start, USD 501, Topeka, KS

At the start of the pandemic, the grantee management team met via Zoom to discuss the best way to support the needs of its Head Start children and families. They realized that families who were no longer working needed basic items, like foods and household supplies, and a sense of normalcy. With this information, they were able to reach out to community partners. Support for Head Start children and families was provided eagerly, bountifully, and free of charge. The grantee was able to gather enough supplies to create two “Need Banks” for children and families. Approximately 80 Head Start children and families have been served. Further, because of COVID-19 funding, the grantee was able to transport goods to families, porch-delivery style. COVID-19 funding has helped support families in creating a sense of normalcy. As the grantee moved to remote services, most of their families did not have the technology capabilities to access teaching services. COVID-19 funding allowed them to support their current and future families in their remote capacity.

Trusting Relationships with Program Staff Help to Communicate Guidance on COVID-19

University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS

The city shut down for a considerable amount of time during the pandemic. This program immediately started communicating with their families about how they were doing and asked if they needed assistance with any items. Families reported it was very difficult to find and afford diapers for their young children. The CARES Act funding made it possible for the program to provide each of their families with the diapers and wipes they were unable to find in the community. Families reported they were so grateful that the program had helped them fill this need. For families unable to attend the distribution, the program’s family support coordinators and home visitors went to the homes to drop off much needed supplies.

This program also utilized their home visitors to discuss the health department’s guidance on COVID-19 testing and preventative measures with families in need. One mom got scared when her partner fell ill with high fevers. He did not want to be tested for COVID-19, for the family feared getting positive results. Mom contacted her home visitor and discussed the health department’s guidance on COVID-19 testing. They discussed preventative measures if the test came back negative and discussed quarantining and employing great hand-washing practices. Most importantly, Mom needed the guidance to come from a trusting relationship to empower her to speak with her significant other to be tested. Ultimately, they all tested positive. Mom was better informed about COVID-19 and was able to make sure that the whole family completed their quarantine. The home visitor shared resources for food, diapers, and telephone and utility assistance. The family expressed how grateful they were to receive the information.