Our COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response

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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.

If you have any questions, please complete the Contact Us form, and a PSF representative will get back with you as soon as possible.

Office Operating Procedures

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.

UPDATE: Our Plan to Return to the Office Beginning July 7, 2020, PSF is taking the following necessary precautions for individuals and staff members coming into any of our service sites (including our network of Resource Centers):

  1. Everyone entering a PSF office must sign in and out – both staff and visitors. Visitors must also provide their contact information.
  2. Masks are required to be worn in all public areas including hallways, bathrooms, break rooms, meeting rooms, etc. Staff members working in their individual office or cubicle may remove their masks while alone at their desks.
  3. Until further notice, only employees who have a need to be in the office are permitted to work on-site. Employees working in the office will follow a specific schedule to ensure leadership can monitor occupancy levels in each building.

Moving forward, PSF has finalized a three-phase plan to gradually bring our workforce back into the office. However, phase one of this plan will not begin until leadership decides it is safe to do so. 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.

Resource Centers

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.

Below is our tentative Resource Center schedule. Due to staffing capacities there will be occasions when these hours are amended so we recommend patrons call first. Please note that we continue to limit the number of patrons who are able to enter the building at one time, so individuals may be required to wait outside or in their car prior to entering the building. Staff availability may also be limited during some hours of the day, as noted.

Library Partnership, Gainesville, 352-334-0160

Hours: Monday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Tuesday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Wednesday 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Friday 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.  (Note: LP will be closing at 1:00 pm on Thursday, 9/16)

Cone Park Library Resource Center, Gainesville, 352-334-0456 (office); 352-318-1486 (mobile)

Hours: Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

*Please Note: Closed each day from 12:00-1:00 for lunch. Calls and appointments only after 4:00 p.m. Notary services at this site are by appointment only.

SWAG Family Resource Center, Gainesville, 352-505-6823

Hours: Monday 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.; Tuesday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Friday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

*Please Note: DCF ACCESS Clerk is currently on-site on Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Tri-County Community Resource Center, Chiefland, 352-507-4000

Hours: Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Accepting calls only between 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on these days); Friday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

*Please Note: Closed each day from 12:00-1:00 for lunch. DCF ACCESS Clerk will not be available on-site until further notice.

Home Visits:

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.

Family Visitations:

On March 27, the Florida Supreme Court issued an administrative order suspending all in-person family visitation. 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.

Circuit Courts:

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 regarding upcoming virtual Info Nights. You may also contact our recruiter directly at samantha.cowan@pfsf.org 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 trainings as long as needed.

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 patricia.carroll@pfsf.org.

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

Child abuse is preventable
We can help change the lives of many children and teens.

A hallmark of PSF’s system of care is our belief that child abuse is preventable. We have found that by providing resources and supports to families in need on the front end, many can avoid reaching the crises that lead to formal child welfare involvement functions.

Monetary Donations

Monetary donations throughout the year are a huge help to the children we serve. We accept donations by check, which can be mailed to our office or through the PayPal link here.

AmazonSmile

The next time you make a purchase on Amazon, please consider using AmazonSmile and selecting Partnership for Strong Families as the receiving organization.

Volunteer

Become part of a team that makes a lasting impact! No matter how much time you have to give, it is enough to make a big difference

Special Events

We often have unique opportunities to partner with us through events that are organized to benefit Partnership for Strong Families

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