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We're here to answer questions for foster youth across the state during this uncertain time!


What is COVID19, also known as the Novel Corona Virus, and why is it such a big deal?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause people to get sick. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain transmitted between animals and people.  
 
Symptoms of the virus include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. More severe cases can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. 
 
This is a big deal because the virus is spreading very quickly all over the world.



What does the COVID19 pandemic mean for youth in foster care?


Office of Children’s Services (OCS)

All OCS Offices will stay open. You should to contact your caseworker or other OCS staff by phone or email to schedule a time to meet before going in to the office. If you show up at an OCS office without an appointment, you could be turned away.

 
Home Visits
Your OCS caseworker won’t come to see you in person. Your caseworker should contact you by Facetime, Zoom, or another video-chat or social media method so they can see you. A simple phone call should be a last resort. Your caseworker should talk with you separately from other people in the home.
 
You can download the Zoom Skype, & Facebook Messenger apps on your phone or computer for free.
 
Family Visitation
All in person family visits are cancelled. If you have unsupervised visits, this could happen through FaceTime, Zoom, phone calls, or other communication apps.
 
If you have supervised visits, OCS may reach to your caregiver or the staff where you live to create a visitation schedule, including facilitating and supervising electronic visits.
 
If your caregiver is unwilling to help, your caseworker may talk with you about a different plan.
 
Court Hearings
If you have a court hearing scheduled, it will likely be postponed for a later date. You can call in to your hearings. Contact your Guardian Ad Litem, Caseworker, or Attorney if you have one to get the details about how and when to call in.

 

Contact information for people on your case
You can find contact information for your Caseworker, Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) or Attorney by searching their name here.
 
Don’t know the name of someone on your case? Or they don’t show up when you search them?

  • DM us on any of our social media platforms at the bottom of this page or email info@ffcalaska.org and we’ll help you figure it out.

If you are over the age of 16, you should have an assigned regional Independent Living Specialist. They can help too. Learn more about the OCS Independent Living Program here.
 
Travel
All travel that isn’t required has been cancelled or will be rescheduled.
 
Team Meetings
If you have a Team Decision Making Meeting (TDM), or any other meeting related to your case it will happen on Zoom or you can call in by phone.
 
Housing
You may have had to move abruptly.
 
Boarding schools, Alaska Military Youth Academy, Job Corps, and Vocational Technical Programs are all moving students off their campuses. If you are in one of these programs, your caseworker or Living Specialist should be assisting in finding you a new place to live.
 
If you live in the dorms at a University of Alaska Campus or other college, you could be granted an exception to stay. Contact Amanda Metivier almetivier@alaska.edu call/text 230-8237. If you have college housing needs.

 


Resources
 
Facing Foster Care in Alaska
We may have resources or be able to refer you to a service if you are experiencing hardships related to COVID19. DM any of our Social media platforms, go to our website, or email us at info@ffcalaska.org.
 
Contact information for people on your case
You can find contact information for your Caseworker, Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) or Attorney by searching their name here.
 
Don’t know the name of someone on your case? Or they don’t show up when you search them?

  • DM us on any of our social media platforms or email info@ffcalaska.org and we’ll help you figure it out.

If you are over the age of 16, you should have an assigned regional Independent Living Specialist. They can help too. Learn more about the OCS Independent Living Program here.
 
211 has lots of community resources. Visit them online at https://alaska211.org/search-our-database/
 
Laptops
Please be aware, in order to keep safe, FFCA is not matching laptops during this time. If you need a laptop for educational purposes during, feel free to contact One Simple Wish mailto:info@onesimplewish.org
 
OCS Independent Living
Resources for youth ages 16-21.
 
Foster Care to Success
Scholarship Recipients may be eligible for emergency assistance funds.
 
Office of Children’s Services Temporary COVID19 Policy


Foster Parent Frequently Asked Questions About COVID19
 
Recommendations from the Center for Disease Control

 
Easing Anxiety
With all the alerts, news, social media, and abrupt changes, it’s okay to feel anxious. There are lots of ways you can ease your anxiety.

  • Download a Meditation App

  • Social Distance Watch Parties on Netflix

  • Contact your FFCA Regional Rep. to talk

  • Go outside, go on a walk

  • Play video games

  • Listen to Music

  • Resources for parents-ABC Mouse, PBS Kids, virtual tours

 

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Copyright © *|2020* *|Facing Foster Care in Alaska|*, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
Facing Foster Care in Alaska 
PO Box 92644 
Anchorage AK
99509

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