March 26, 2020 by Gus Pacheco
COVID-19 UPDATE - VISITATION PROGRAMS
A Special Message To Our Parents In Our Visitation and Safe Exchange Program
At Parents By Choice, the safety and wellbeing of our children, youth and families and their loved ones are our top priority. Our Supervised Visitation & Safe Exchange program is a service we consider essential as it maintains attachment and bonding for children and youth with their birth family. This service is critical in minimizing the effects of childhood trauma. Our visitation team in San Joaquin county have been working diligently this past week to continue face-to-face visitation with children and families by taking precautionary measures to screen families and themselves, including frequent hand washing, social distancing, staying home when sick, and cleaning and disinfecting our sites.
This week, San Joaquin joined other California counties in moving to a “shelter in place” and ordering a moratorium on face to face visits for only the most essential services. The Governor also issued a “stay at home except for essential needs” order on March 19th. We have worked conscientiously to meet the visitation needs of children and families while also protecting the health and wellbeing of children, resource families, birth families and staff.
At this time, we are preparing to add an option for virtual and mobile phone technologies to maintain visit contact where feasible. We are not discontinuing face-to-face visits at this time however we are taking the lead from trustworthy sources and county and state directives before we make decisions impacting our in person service visits. The virtual option will prevent the spread of the virus and protect our communities.
Please know that we will sustain our best efforts to not only connect virtually and by phone, but also to pass on information to birth parents about the health and wellbeing of their children while they are sheltering in their resource families.
We are steadfast in our commitment to our children, youth and their families and will continue to refine our practices in their best interest while we move as a community through this pandemic to a safer place. We will continue to work closely with our county child welfare and community partners while we ride this wave together and meet the critical needs of those who are counting on us, now more than ever.
Thank you for helping us face this challenge together with a spirit of compassion, generosity, and concern for those around us. Clean hands. Open hearts. Our children are counting on us.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to our Director of Prevention Services Gus Pacheco at with any questions or concerns.