As we continue to mange the significant changes and challenges of COVID-19, the ACO is working hard to recognize the challenges and respond to the needs. We know that for families, this pandemic often means being together in the same home all or most of the time with parents juggling work and parenting and trying to be teachers to their children.
For foster, adoptive and kinship parents, that can also mean parenting children who struggle with change and upheaval on the best of days, whose skills in social and independent play may not be as developed as their peers and who may find the uncertain climate we are all living in, even more stressful and scary than children with more secure histories.
Children who have been on permanency journeys, prior to adoption, may “sense” that life is more chaotic and if they have had multiple transitions they may become more stressed or “triggered” as their minds and hearts become overwhelmed and scared that history is repeating itself in some form.
For parents working from home or worried because they are not working or stretched financially, stress can build and it is not surprising that mental health and wellness can become challenging.
In response to the pandemic, the ACO is here to help and support by…
- providing all webinars for free until the end of June and developing new ones each month
- designing and hosting panels and conversation by professionals and parents
- hosting virtual kid and teen hang out programs that help us learn more about coping during the pandemic and are a lot of fun
ACO has Opened an Information/Navigation and Support Line
We remind ourselves and everyone that during times of high stress, we need to get enough sleep, try and keep a regular structure or routines in place, eat well, get exercise and get outside, even with physical distancing. Research shows us that these core ideas can make a big difference for everyone and are especially important for children and adults who have previous trauma or adverse experiences in their history.
And sometimes it can still feel like or be too much. Which is why we are opening the virtual information, navigation and support line for the duration of the pandemic, so that individuals and families have adoption competent counsellors and therapists to help them during this time.
Stay well and be safe …. We are in this together.
Executive Director, Adoption Council of Ontario
Information/Navigation and Support Line
Email and phone support will be available for several sessions and if longer term support is needed, we will help you with a referral.
Further information is on our website. You can reach the line at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 416- 482-0021 or on the toll free line at 1-800- ADOPT-20.