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Piedmont CASA is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will regularly update this page with announcements and resources to help us all effectively navigate the pandemic.
If you have any questions or suggestions for additional resources, email Strong4Kids@pcasa.org

NEW  -  COVID-19 Household Relief Funds

The Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, Cville Community Cares, United Way of Greater Charlottesville, City of Charlottesville, and County of Albemarle are partnerimg to disburse funds to households experiencing hardship due to the COVID-19 virus. This partnership will make financial payments to households in Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Nelson, and Orange. 

Anyone experiencing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 virus and its economic impacts can call (434) 234-4490 between 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday. Multiple languages are available.

Pandemic ground rules for your safety and the safety of your child

Piedmont CASA has suspended all in-person visitations. CASA staff will attend all court hearings. For DSS meetings, please check in with your supervisor. 

This crisis is making our advocacy even more important

The needs of our children will not decrease during this pandemic. In fact, we anticipate seeing a deep increase. Our children depend on us to help keep them safe, and to ensure that their basic needs are met. We cannot let them down. For their sake and the future of our community, it must remain a priority. 



Living in a pandemic increases everybody's stress levels. You feel it, we feel it, and families who are already struggling feel it most of all.

The problems our kids face

Their fragile support systems are under tremendous pressure. Social distancing is compounding their struggles. Workplace closings are resulting in forced and unpaid leave for caretakers. Those economic ramifications are compounded by school closings and the unexpected need for round-the-clock childcare. Without school meal programs and other valuable community resources, our children will suffer from food insecurity. 

As confusing and scary as COVID-19 conversations and media coverage are for us, it is a trauma-trigger for the children and youth we serve - and that can create additional tension in the child’s home or placement. 

This pandemic can exacerbate mental health and substance abuse issues

For families who experience mental health and substance abuse challenges, are in domestic violence relationships, or have a history of abuse or neglect, social distancing is a crisis. They cannot afford to lose the protective factors of social supports. Your advocacy can help ensure that they don't. Here's how:

Caretakers may be struggling with problems resulting from distance-imposed restrictions. They may find it difficult to ensure that kids keep up with school work or establish new routines. They may not be able to find important services for their children such as therapy and after school activities. For children who already have a history of trauma, the confusion can trigger trauma reactions. Talk to caretakers, listen, lend them your emotional support and expertise. With your guidance, caretakers can better understand the stresses their children and youth are experiencing. They can then develop the behavioral management tools they need to support their children, and increase the stability of their household.

If a child experiences a true mental health crises

Please instruct the caretaker to call Region Ten Emergency Services at 434-972-1800 or 1-866-694-1605.

How to conduct virtual visits

Aside from phone calls and texts, you can pay your child virtual visits. Face-to-face virtual meetings can be strong connectors because they provide consistency and support. And when you have your eyes on your child, you have a chance to read underlying messages in their facial expressions and demeanor. 

If you've never done it before, it's easy. Contact your supervisor to show you how. It's also a great way to stay in touch with them.

When you contact your child or family, there are questions you can ask that will guide you in seeing what sort of help and support they need:

    • Inquire about the health of all household members -- physical and mental
    • How are school/distance learning assignments being completed? What was sent by the district/teacher? Is the teacher available via email to help, if needed? Could the CASA assist virtually? 
    • What is the family doing to keep busy daily?
    • Is anyone in the household still working outside the home?
    • Has the child/children had any issues behaviorally since being home?
    • If the child’s visitation has been suspended due to COVID-19, have they been able to stay in touch with their parent/sibling(s) by phone?
    • Is the household having any other challenges? (Financial, shortage of food, childcare for healthcare workers/first responders, etc.)
    • Are there upcoming non-urgent medical/dental appointments for the child/children, and if so, has DSS or the provider been consulted to determine whether these appointments can be postponed?
    • Does the caretaker have supportive individuals they are relying on right now to stay sane and healthy?

For students on free or reduced lunch programs, the sudden closures of schools creates food insecurity. Each locality is handling this differently. Some school systems have not finalized their plans yet, but are anticipating something soon. Please use these links to monitor for updates:

Albemarle County: Student Meal Service During School Closure
Allegheny County: Allegheny County Public Schools: Home
Buena Vista City: Buena Vista City Public Schools: Home
Charlottesville City: Neighborhood Meal Delivery During Closure
Covington City: Coronavirus Updates
Highland CountyCOVID-19 Emergency Food Program
Lexington City: Official Website - City Schools
Nelson County: Health and Wellness Update
Rockbridge County: COVID-19 Information / Homepage

Please be sure to contact anyone else involved with the child’s case to determine their status, for example if services are suspended, being offered remotely, etc. This includes biological parents, if the child is not currently in their custody. Help connect them with needed resources they may be seeking - the same way you would the child’s current caretaker. 

Some suggested common resources that are operating in a modified way to meet the crucial needs in our community during the COVID-19 crisis are:

 

Please take good care of yourself 
so that we can all play our part
and continue to serve the children who count on us.

 

 

 

ADVOCATING FOR ABUSED AND NEGLECTED CHILDREN SINCE 1995

PIEDMONT CASA   |   818 EAST HIGH STREET   |   CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA 22902   |   434.971.7515