Did you know that more than 70% of Hephzibah’s staff, across our various departments, are designated essential workers?
While many organizations have been able to transition to remote-operations during the pandemic, Hephzibah’s essential workers are continuing to deliver vital, in-person services to vulnerable children and struggling families. In many cases, connecting in real-life to is the only way to effectively help them get through this difficult time; Hephzibah’s mission is to help children thrive and families flourish and our commitment is only stronger during this pandemic.
Since March, Hephzibah Home has been on lockdown; the only people permitted to enter are the 30 residential counselors, supervisors, therapists, cooks and maintenance staff who work around the clock on-site caring for children living there. This has been extra challenging because the children must remain on the premises and keeping 26 high-needs young children safe, entertained, and engaged in e-learning for months is no easy feat.
Scott Bruckman dressed as a clown for Halloween 2020
“While our roles haven’t changed, the anxiety of keeping the children and our coworkers safe, is different,” said Scott Bruckman, supervisor in the Diagnostic Treatment Center. “That stress switches off however, when I arrive and a child really needs my attention. I know I am here for this guy today. I am reminded why I’m here and why I do what I do.”
Hephzibah’s Family Based Services team is providing invaluable support and services to hundreds of foster care children and families who are also going through difficult times during COVID-19. Every day, 30 therapists and caseworkers don protective gear to visit the children and families in their homes. They provide counseling, support, and whatever resources they can to help these families get by day-to-day.
“There is tremendous stress on families, and often we are their only source of support,” said Piper Caldwell, LCSW, Foster Care supervisor. “The need is great and resources are scant.”
Our day care staff are also essential, especially to the families of over 200 elementary school children enrolled in the program. These parents are able to go to work every day knowing that their children are in a safe, healthy, environment receiving top-notch care. The 50+ child development specialists follow rigid health and safety protocols while delivering quality, affordable day care with e-learning support.
We are so grateful for such a dedicated team who is willing to do what is necessary to serve children and families even in a pandemic.