Solving problems in order to continue service during pandemic

Emily Mehltretter, LMHC Supervisor, Catholic Charities’ West Side Preventive Programs

“I wanted to share some “positivity” from our West Side Traditional, Kinship, and Refugee Preventive Programs.

“These programs work with families whose children have been placed outside of the home or are at risk of placement outside of the home because of neglect and/or abuse. Child permanency, safety, and well-being is the focus of our staff who work with biological parents, as well as kinship/foster parents if there is an out-of-home placement.

“Our staff is specially-trained to work with refugee families as well, to better understand their respective cultures and ensure sensitivity to their beliefs and traditions.

“I am so proud of how resilient, hardworking, and creative our staff have been during the COVID-19 pandemic. They continue to meet with clients at their homes to ensure that all the families’ basic needs are being met and all children are remaining safe and well cared for in their homes.

“Our staff have been able to “problem solve” how to meet with families while maintaining safety for all. Staff meet with clients and see children through the doors/windows of the home while talking on the phone or using FaceTime if available. Staff have also increased the amount of phone calls to clients to ensure they are feeling even more supported during this time. We have even had some of our cases close successfully during the pandemic.”