Circle of Care’s mission continues
As community members heed important health precautions and executive orders related to COVID-19, organizations across the world are restructuring how they meet the needs of their consumers and members.
Oklahoma United Methodist Circle of Care has been serving Oklahoma’s children and families in crisis for over 103 years, through many social, economic and world crises. In this unique time in our country’s history, there is no shortage of demand for what they supply.
The nonprofit faith-based agency offers three programs: foster care, transitional living for single mothers, and independent living for young adults who have aged out of foster care. With offices and campuses across the state, Circle of Care staff are implementing innovative solutions to continue the mission of providing help, healing and hope.
The COVID-19 crisis has unfortunately resulted in vulnerable children entering state custody at an accelerated rate due to neglect or abuse. Therefore, Circle of Care recently asked their certified foster homes to consider expanding the ages and numbers of children they would accept. The response was amazing with 21 families stepping up to take more children. The agency’s capacity was increased by 47 beds without adding even one new foster home.
Other steps to serve their clients include restricting visitors to the campuses, converting 76% of their workforce to working from home, reducing office personnel to a maximum of three per building, implementing more stringent hygiene and cleaning protocol of the physical facilities, using video-conferencing to conduct foster home visits when possible and when not possible, pre-screening for COVID-19 symptoms of staff and foster family members, and checking in daily with residential clients.
President and CEO, Keith Howard, stated, “Our team is committed to fulfilling our mission, even when the ‘how’ looks different. This is not a season to step back, but to lean in greater, because we know the needs of Oklahomans have increased and will continue to increase as we face the reality of COVID-19.”
The vulnerable children and families served by Circle of Care were hurting, anxious and home-insecure before the COVID-19 crisis, before the entire country collectively became anxious about its future. Now, more than ever, these individuals must be supported and empowered to ensure their fragile situations hold up through the ordeal.
Circle of Care will employ whatever adaptations seem needed to continue providing help, healing and hope to children and families in crisis. For more information on how you can get involved, visit circleofcare.org.