• Tasha Matthews

COVID-19: How Do We Proceed?

I'm sure by now everybody’s aware of the pandemic that’s happening right now. In a lot of different ways, this has been incredibly unexpected for all the foster care liaisons and communities that encompass us. And it’s been incredibly clear to every resource provider out there that has been able to connect with youth that everyone is being impacted super negatively through this pandemic.

The reality is, you have been going through traumatic experiences from before the time you entered foster care and onward. So it’s clear to us that we’ve already had enough awful experiences that we’ve already been going through. So, during this time it’s crucial to reach out to your support systems because as of right now, everyone is really, really trying their best to figure out all the possible safe ways to support any and all foster youth who are in need and anyway that we can be able to support you guys.

These are surely unprecedented times and in these times is when it is very important to reach out to all your network support systems, including the people that had been the closest to you and have already been reaching out to you. That includes your social workers, your lawyers, your CASAs, and any other support systems related to community colleges and public universities. My previous blog post shows those resources available on the website so please go and look at those resources that we have already posted in case you need anything in terms of financial support, food, and other vital resources in this time as our nation goes through this crazy hardship right now. We will post more of that as it becomes available.

I know this is really hard right now for a lot of you. Some of you are missing out on your schoolwork, you are being disconnected to your friends in person, some of you are upset because you don’t get to go outside as much right now. Some of you are stuck in your dorms at your college/universities and it’s frustrating and isolating. Some of you are just looking for another way to let out some steam and have an outlet or have a support system that’s very therapeutic. I would suggest that you make sure that you find all the things that you actually enjoy doing that you can do indoors and do it; whether it’s drawing; whether it’s painting, singing, or whether it’s doing aerobic exercises/dancing; or whether it’s watching funny videos (especially doing this because laughing boosts your immune system). Anything that you can do to keep you pushing forward and keep you moving is so very vital for your state of mind and your state of being in this time.

We at Children’s Legal Services are all here for you. I’m here for you as a former foster youth. I want you to know that we all love you and want to support you as best we can. Please reach out to me or anyone else you’re connected to. We want to make sure that happens. There are things happening within the foster care system currently and it might be helpful for us to talk through them with you. I want you guys to know that you have support and you have someone to talk to even if it’s just venting, because right now, these are some crazy times.

So how do we proceed? We proceed with remembering this: you are already super strong and incredibly resilient people and it’s very likely that you’ve been through even heavier stuff than this when you were younger and in the system. Just keep holding on! Keep open contact with your circle of supports and keep doing the best you can given the circumstances. Most importantly, definitely reach out if you’re in need or in struggle or in a bind. And if there’s a person that you’re feeling like isn’t responding to you or isn’t adequately meeting your needs with respect to the circumstances we are all in, please let me know and I will put my email here so that I can I am sure that we work together towards getting what you need and what needs to happen from this point forward. We can only do the best we can under these extraordinary unknown circumstances, but so we are so here for you and we want to support you the best we can.

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