DETROIT – One of the largest nonprofit organizations in Michigan is continuing to serve the homeless, foster children, seniors and families in need during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
COVID-19 can’t stop Samaritas from helping the community.
UPDATE -- April 28, 2020: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 39,262
While we’re all using our smartphones and tablets to communicate during this time, it’s not as easy for children to use those devices, especially foster children who are trying to connect with their birth parents.
Jen and Kevin Brady have been foster parents to Sammy and Logan for two years. They’re 5 years and 18 months old, respectively.
The Bradys taken Sammy and Logan to visit their birth parents twice a week, and with each visit, the birth mother, a former drug addict, was getting better and better
But since COVID-19 arrived, Sammy and Logan can’t see their birth mother in person. Meet-ups are done virtually.
“It’s important to keep them connected at this time because you don’t want the kids to think, ‘What happened to my mom or my dad?’” said Audrey Williams, of Samaritas foster care services.
Those meetings can be difficult for youngsters, like Logan. The Bradys have to get creative to help their foster children stay focused during the meetings.
Samaritas foster care services has been able to provide tablets to some of the birth parents to keep them connected to their children. Many are low income, so they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford a tablet.
Foster parents are doing the best they can to keep children safe and let them know that even though they can’t see their birth parents in person, they’re doing OK.
Samaritas officials said these children need to get back to having in-person meetings with their birth parents, but now that they’ve been introduced to virtual meetings, it’s likely they’ll continue in the future for more interaction.