- April 22, 2020
-- Sylvia just sat in the car. Sylvia, an adoption counselor for expectant parents, was waiting for news that her client was okay. That she delivered her baby and that even though Sylvia was not permitted in the hospital due to the new hospital COVID-19 rules, Sylvia wanted her to know that she was close. Sylvia could have been 4 hours away working from her home, but she wanted to be available to her client. Sylvia traveled with a mask in place to support this client throughout the end of her pregnancy. While many visits like this have gone virtual, this client really wanted to see Sylvia in person. Her client's worst fear was being alone, and Sylvia assured her that she would be right there, even though "right there" meant the hospital parking lot.
Adoption social workers historically work odd hours and often work from their cars, traveling to their clients and supporting them pre and post birth. This virus has caused them to add masks and robes and gloves to their wardrobe and to be incredibly creative as they provide support to those in need.
Adoption STAR, Inc. (https://www.adoptionstar.com/
), a non-profit adoption agency licensed in three states (NY, OH and FL) says it is business as usual during an unusual time. "Covid-19 not only has our staff working from home, but our policies and procedures have needed to change," reports Michele Fried, the agency's founder and CEO. Adoption STAR, a 20 year old organization, works to identify families for children in need of permanency planning. The agency provides infant adoption and older child adoption both domestically and internationally.
It has not been an easy process but along with the executive team and board of directors, Adoption STAR has established policies and procedures during this global pandemic to meet the needs of their clients. Fried says she sends out a weekly personal email to the agency's clients as well as hosts weekly meetings with the full staff via Zoom. "The most important thing is to stay in touch, to keep up morale, and to do what we do best, supporting children and families."