Holy Family Institute (HFI) has been providing “help, healing and hope to children and families throughout Western Pennsylvania” for more than 100 years. However, even with their long history, HFI – like many organizations – found themselves in a state of uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic.
HFI realized the best way to continue to support their clients was to shift to telehealth whenever possible. Over the last few months, HFI staff has used technology to assist with applications for benefits, housing, student aid and unemployment; help clients make safety plans and complete the Protection from Abuse (PFA) order process; support clients in maintaining their sobriety; and offer guidance to parents who were facing additional stress from spending more time at home and serving as their child’s teacher.
While technology has played a major role in how HFI is delivering services during the pandemic, in-person services remain critical for many of their clients. One such client is a 19-year-old woman who gave birth earlier this year. The client had been struggling to properly feed the baby and was not changing the baby on a regular basis. On top of this, the client was depressed.
HFI continued to do face-to-face visits during the stay-at-home order, working with both the client and her caseworker. Now, the client is beginning to demonstrate parenting skills and is working better with providers. She is also opening up more about her situation and her concerns.
Despite the many challenges faced during the pandemic, HFI has not missed a beat. They continue to adapt to find the best way to support and guide the individuals and families they serve.