Parents have been hit the hardest with shelter in place orders. Overnight becoming their children's teachers, therapists and coaches. Some still are working, but now from home. Juggling the stress of financial strain and the unknown of how long this may last?
Parents with special needs children have an added challenges. With schools and care facilities being closed, critical services and therapies that provide structure for their children are now gone. Behaviors spike, progress is stalled and or reverts for these individuals. The choreography of resources for families with special needs is disrupted and it's unclear if that support will be available for families moving forward. Parents are inevitably burnt out and there seems to be no end in sight.
When leadership is considering what falls under essential businesses, the work of parenting is often left out of the conversation. Especially the work of parenting children with special needs. Childcare services and special needs facilities are all navigating how they may reopen while maintaining safety and following all guidelines. Federal block grants have been slow moving to get in the hands of those who need them most and the short term aid isn't enough. The workforce that makes up childcare services and direct care support for special needs individuals are some of the hardest hit. The worry is that despite an increased demand for this workforce the capacity will be limited due to lack of resources.
What COVID19 is teaching all of us is how very essential this work is. How important it will be to re-think our social-educational infrastructure to be more inclusive and accommodating. There is no denying that childcare workers, care providers, teachers, therapists and coaches are essential. They all contribute to the next generation and it is our job to ensure that they are included in the conversations for plans moving forward.
At The Center we have been diligently preparing for what our "new normal" looks like by prioritizing the safety for our participants and staff. We have made it a priority to support our staff during our hiatus despite having a minimal roadway of resources to tap into. Our plans for reopening consider all of the critical guidelines and recommendations as well as take into account our unique workplace. Our updated reopening guidelines are below and if they are of service to you, your families or organizations in your community providing direct care support and trying to figure out how to reopen please feel free to share.
More importantly, rather than just thinking about the near term we are looking ahead - way ahead and have put plans in place for expansion of our facilities. We strive to be able to support more families in need. To be a resource for the growing population of young adults with special needs. In order to do this we have to grow and we have begun to plant the seeds!
To all of the parents my message is relief is coming, there is a light at the end of this shelter in place tunnel. It's going to be different, it will be better and in my opinion you all deserve hazard pay! Thank you to all of the essential work you have contributed to make it this far. Hang in there and be kind to yourself.
Stay safe, stay strong and stay sane!
Acting Executive Director
*This blog post was inspired by a Washington Post Article, link below.
Join our team
As we reopen our doors in June 2020 we are looking to recruit additional team members who can help us grow!
Do you care about those with special needs?
Have an entrepreneurial spirit and enjoy working with a team?
Interested in helping build something and work towards big goals?
If you answered yes to the above we want to meet you! Take a look at our current open positions and apply. We are recruiting for our Life Coach-Instructor and Clinical Director positions, you can review the job descriptions and apply online below.
watch how we plan to grow
The Center along with organizations across the globe participated in Giving Tuesday Now on May 5, 2020 to share how they have been contributing during the COVID19 pandemic and how they plan to grow. The Center hosted a live facebook event and if you didn't get a chance to view it live you can watch it below.
We were joined by local Roanoke musician Porch Front Dan and Nashville Artist Douglas Allen who performed short virtual concerts in support of The Center.
Our leadership shared our big plans for growth as we move forward to expanding The Center and how you can get involved to help us grow!
Thanks again to everyone who made our #givingtuesdaynow campaign a success and please feel free to share the video on your personal social media platforms! We look forward to growing together as we transition and expand!
OUR ASK ON GIVING TUESDAY NOW: We are social distancing for social good this #GivingTuesdayNow. Join us and millions around the world in giving back, spreading kindness, and showing how together we can be a force for good: now.givingtuesday.org.
During this global pandemic the New Transitions Center has been making an effort to support our families safely and do our part in flattening the curve by staying home. We have provided weekly ideas to our families to keep our participants active inside the home during this time and host weekly Virtual Bingo sessions. While we have done our best to make it through this time it is important to now start looking to the future and re-opening our doors.
Being a new program with just a few months under our belt this has been a large hit to our progress and growth as a newly founded non-profit. We plan to re-open our doors in June 2020 for our 4th month of programing. We need your help to do so. During this time our doors have been shut we have continued to add up expenses but not been able to supplement that with our normal participant dues. This is where we are asking for your assistance. We are taking extra precautions in our procedures upon re-opening. Supplies and staff training is needed during this time among many other needs. If you can give any amount it is very much appreciated.
For those that provide an address with their donation we will be sending you a Friends of the Center sticker to show your support. We are thankful for you! #FriendsoftheCenter #GivingTuesdayNOW