Like you, NCADV has been closely monitoring the impact and potential consequences of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We honor your tenacity, creativity and strength as you work to continue providing such critical services during these uncertain times to those in crisis, despite the risks, the fear, the constant changes, and the newly developing obstacles. As such, we hope the following material helps streamline information and resources for you so you can continue providing those critical services.
We encourage you to bookmark this post as we will be updating it as new resources are shared. Also, please share with us the ways you are working to provide services and support victims and survivors during this crisis. We have been hearing from service providers and advocates nationally looking for information, guidance and ideas. We are using this post to share those with you.
Resources for Information about COVID-19
As suggested by health experts, refer to and keep up-to-date with the developments and directives provided by both the CDC and the World Health Organization as well as your state and local public health departments. Explore additional resources provided by NCADV’s partner organizations like the National Network to End Domestic Violence and Futures Without Violence.
Clean Frequently and Reinforce Recommended Procedures
Employ and reinforce everyday, basic protective measures against the virus such as social distancing and frequent hand-washing. Follow sanitation guidelines for infectious diseases as outlined in this toolkit from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence suggests that if you are unable to find supplies such as hand sanitizer or other hygiene and cleaning products, contact your local health department.
Encourage Those Who are Sick to Stay Home
Encourage employees who are sick to remain at home. Evaluate your leave policies if necessary and, if possible, adjust them to accommodate those who may have been exposed to COVID-19, who have contracted it, or who are caring for others during this crisis. If you are able, cross-train employees to ensure appropriate coverage and consider allowing employees to work remotely. See the CDC’s interim guidance for businesses and employers for more information or contact your local employers council. You can also find more information on the websites of the Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding state and federal workplace laws and HR policies and practices.
Adjust Your Operations if Possible
Many organizations and programs nationally are implementing remote and mobile advocacy options, operating short-staffed, and/or suspending some in-person services. One California shelter program shared that they are preparing to offer shelter residents the option to remain in the shelter building without shelter staff physically present; staff is readily available via video and phone to offer assistance. This program is also providing taxi vouchers to address transportation needs. While we realize these measures may not be a feasible option for many programs or shelters, remote and mobile advocacy is a viable alternative to in-person advocacy. NNEDV provides excellent information about remote and mobile advocacy as well as a digital services toolkit.
Impacts on Funding
If you have questions about the impact of adjusting services on your grants and other funding, reach out to your appropriate funding administrator or contract manager. They can provide further guidance and information.
Other Things to Consider
If your organization has the capacity to do so, form a response committee whose purpose is to coordinate your organization’s response plan and connect with other community partners to strengthen essential services and/ or develop additional responses as appropriate. Engage everyone you know in helping - volunteers, friends and family may be willing to lend time, talent and resources to your service response and shore up your program capacity. During this time stress is high and, as we know, people respond differently in times of crisis. Do what you can to take care of yourself as you take care of others. Find more information here.
NCADV is collaborating with other national organizations to provide you with as much information and support as possible during this challenging time. We encourage you to visit the websites of the organizations listed below:
Futures Without Violence
The National Network to End Domestic Violence
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Alliance to End Homelessness
Texas Council on Domestic Violence
California Partnership on Domestic Violence
Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
As stated earlier, we encourage you to share with NCADV the ways in which you are responding to COVID-19 and how you have minimized its impact on service provision. We appreciate all that you do every day and especially how you are adjusting your services and support of victims and survivors during this crisis. We will be updating this blog post as we receive further information about the trajectory of COVID-19, as you provide information about your creative and groundbreaking solutions, and as the federal government takes steps to address the impacts of COVID-19 that may impact direct service providers, advocates and survivors.