Over the past several weeks, efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep the children and families we serve healthy have resulted in drastic, yet needed shifts in the way we carry out our work. Given this unprecedented time, our management team has been working diligently with the Department of Children and Families, our case management agencies, the Office of Child Welfare and the Florida Coalition for Children to share best practices, stay aligned with new mandates as they arise and learn innovative, key approaches to conducting our work on a more virtual platform. We are committed to keeping our clients, staff, partners and the community at-large updated on important changes to our system of care as things change rapidly for all of us in the midst of a global pandemic.
Please check this page regularly and use it as a resource as new efforts and precautions develop. If you have any questions, please complete the Contact Us form, and a PSF representative will get back with you as soon as possible.
Partnership for Strong Families Office Hours and Staff Capacity
Our offices in Gainesville, Lake City, Live Oak, Starke and Trenton remain open with limited staff capacity. If you need to visit one of our office locations for any reason, please first call the service center to ensure staff availability and verify hours of operation. Click here for the phone numbers of each PSF office location.
Until further notice, PSF staff who have the ability to do so will be working from home. Thanks to the efforts of our IT team, this should not present major disruptions in service or communication time. If you are having trouble reaching a member of our staff, please let us know through the Contact Us form.
Our case management agencies are still continuing their work with some modifications to ensure the health of their staff and the children and families we serve. For more information on what to expect, see the Home Visits information below. You may also download the On-Call Directory for a list of after-hours contact information.
Each of our Resource Centers will continue serving the needs of our community as long as we have the ability to and it is safe to do so for our patrons and staff. Our hours are subject to change, so please check this page often to verify the schedule. We ask that all individuals call the Resource Centers before their visit to ensure our staff can meet your needs.
Tentative Schedule for 3/30/20 – 4/3/20:
Library Partnership Resource Center: 352-334-0160
Hours: Monday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Tuesday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Wednesday 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Please Note: Staff availability will be limited between 11:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m. each day
Cone Park Library Resource Center: 352-318-1486 * Calls only – lobby closed.
Please Call between 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. You can leave a message and the Resource Center Manager, Erica Reed, will return calls as soon as possible.
SWAG Family Resource Center: 352-505-6823
Hours: Monday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Tuesday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Friday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Please Note: Staff availability will be limited between 11:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m. each day. DCF ACCESS Clerk will not be available on-site through at least April 15, 2020. Updates will be provided as they become available.
Tri-County Community Resource Center: 352-507-4000
Hours: Monday 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.; Tuesday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., accepting calls only from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.; Friday accepting calls only from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
*Please Note: TCCRC is closed each day from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. DCF ACCESS Clerk will not be available on-site through at least April 15, 2020. Updates will be provided as they become available.
In accordance with guidance released from the Office of Child Welfare on 30-day visits, Partnership for Strong Families and our case management teams will be conducting risk assessments of current cases to determine those children who can be safely assessed using video conferencing or telephonic interviews to conduct their 30-day face-to-face meetings. In making these decisions, case management will consider the age of the child, placement/supervision type, the types of danger threats present, access to informal safety supports and the individual needs of the child(ren) and family. If an in-person face-to-face visit is required, case management will follow CDC guidelines for maintaining a safe distance, utilizing safety equipment such as gloves and sanitizer and eliminating person-to-person contact.
If there are concerns that the caregiver, child, parent and/or case manager may potentially contract COVID-19 from an in-person face-to-face visit, the department has authorized alternative, virtual means to conduct the visit.
On March 27, the Florida Supreme Court issued an administrative order suspending all in-person family visitation until April 17, 2020. The order does not apply to in-person visitations when all parties and the caregiver agree that visitation can take place without posing a health threat. In lieu of in-person visitation, all visits should be conducted electronically using video or phone if video visits are not possible. This applies to parent-child visitation, sibling visitation and visitation between children and other family members as well as non-relatives.
If you have any specific questions or concerns, please contact your Family Care Counselor.
Courts are strictly limiting the number of individuals permitted to attend hearings. In Circuits 3 and 8, shelter hearings and hearings related to imminent harm to a child are still being conducted. Hearings will be held remotely whenever possible and practicable. We will update this page as we learn more.
Foster and Adoptive Home Recruiting, Licensing and Home Studies
Now, more than ever, we need families willing to open up their hearts and homes to local children who have experienced abuse or neglect. Our recruitment staff are developing innovative, online strategies to engage individuals and families interested in fostering or adopting. Please visit our Facebook page for the latest information as we are planning for a few Virtual Info Nights. You may also contact our recruiter directly at email@example.com or 352-213-7219 . As always, you can learn more on the foster or adoption sections of our website.
The training, licensing, re-licensing and home study process is continuing using virtual tools whenever possible, including offering a virtual PRIDE training in the coming months. We will share more information as it develops.
PSF’s Provider Network
If you are receiving counseling, you have likely heard from your provider but if you have not, please call them directly. They are still providing services. If you are unable to reach them, please call your Family Care Counselor.
COVID-19 Relief Efforts
The social and economic effects of COVID-19 will undoubtedly be felt long after the pandemic subsides. If you feel called to help, we are currently accepting donations to support every child and family we serve – from our Resource Centers to our Partner Families and caregivers. Visit our Donation Page click on the PayPal “Donate” button on the top left to easily make a monetary contribution – just select “COVID-19 Relief Efforts” from the drop-down menu. Every dollar donated will directly support the children and families in our care as well as families we serve at our Resource Centers who have an identified need resulting from COVID-19 impacts. For questions or more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important Information and Helpful Links
Important Information and Helpful Links
During times of crisis, information is rapidly spread and it is important for everyone that we only rely on trusted, validated sources of news. We recommend checking the Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 response site frequently: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/. They also have an active Call Center – 1-866-779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
As a result of the federal “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” Governor DeSantis has directed the following:
- DCF will waive work requirements for SNAP and TANF.
- DCF will work with the USDA to submit a plan to allow families whose children are eligible for free and reduced-price school lunch to receive SNAP benefits.
- DCF will pursue extending food, cash and Medicaid benefits for an extra two months for those families who are scheduled to recertify to ensure that health care, food and cash assistance benefits are provided without interruption.
Helpful links for parents and caregivers:
Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with the Coronavirus Disease 2019: https://flchildren.starchapter.com/images/downloads/COVID_19/outbreak_factsheet_1.pdf
Managing Anxiety and Stress: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fabout%2Fcoping.html Free Educational Resources: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RRv9cENXMp1frTxMmGv3HrNkag6e2RqRZirpHSRzy44/htmlview?sle=true&fbclid=IwAR12ShiWZ1qbnkNIriZkBilQfVtcQ4cS6eFSv_vOsBPEjjpntQQn24T243s#gid=0