Children’s Services Supervisor, Madalyn Caldwell, EdS, LPC, talks about resilience and how the department pivoted to make sure services for children continued, and grew, during COVID-19.
COVID-19 shocked the Children’s Services Department with its quick interruption of our daily life. Our department works heavily with the clients in the school system. Not only did our schools close, but so did our offices. The Children’s Services team promptly began completing training hours for tele-counseling and tele-play counseling. As we trained, we prepared our clients and their families for this transition by having phone conversations with them and answering any questions about the tele-counseling therapeutic process.
With much teamwork, we began using a secure telehealth platform to provide clients with online face-to-to face interactions, as well as phone sessions for those clients who do not have access to stable internet. In the beginning, we struggled to find our own rhythm. We are a close-knit team accustomed to collaborating in person, which made it difficult to share ideas on treatment interventions. We overcame this obstacle by using virtual meetings and chat rooms to create a sense of camaraderie.
After the first month of social distancing, the team was able to navigate the pandemic with ease. The department meets weekly with more than 40 kids, who all have been affected by trauma at some time in their lives. Despite the struggles brought on by COVID-19, the Children’s Services Department provided 249 hours (and counting) of counseling services to child victims.
The Children’s Services Department counsels children who suffer from PTSD, depression, anxiety, and feelings of shame and mistrust.. Treatment is offered for children age 3-18 at no cost to victims or their families.