COVID-19 has presented a variety of challenges. In an effort to support children and parents, Pathways to Hope for Children, Shasta County’s Child Abuse Prevention Coordinating Council in partnership with Shasta County Health and Human Service Agency – Children’s Branch has launched the Hotline for Hope. This call-in service can be reached at (530) 710-8609 and will provide parenting tips, resources and support for caregivers of children ages 0-17. Trained Parent Partners will answer the hotline Monday – Saturday 8 am to 10 pm and offer evidence-based programs such as Triple P, Safe Care, Five Protective Factors and Hope Theory. The Parent Partners will also offer tips and resources for parenting through the COVID-19 pandemic. “During the Pandemic, we have seen a drop in requests for services addressing the needs of our community’s youth at our Children’s Branch and throughout the Health and Human Service Agency. In an effort to help parents and caregivers navigate these unprecedented times, a decision was made to partner with our community-based non-profits using CARES Act Funds to create solutions to immediate needs due to the coronavirus. We are excited to partner with Pathways to Hope for Children to offer this much needed community resource,” said Donnell Ewart, Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency Director. Parents looking for a sympathetic person who can offer concrete solutions to everyday parenting issues can now call and talk to a trained profession or a member of our Parent Leader Advisory Group. Issues that can be discussed include but are not limited to:
- Build healthy relationships with your children
- Create sensitive, responsive interactions with your children
- Talk though feelings of isolation
- Tips for helping your child be happier, more optimistic and motivated
- Talk through your stress and uncertainty during this unprecedented time
- Techniques for talking to your children about COVID-19 and the pandemic
- Advice and tools for positive parenting and a hope focused approach
- Building self-esteem and confidence in your own skills as parents and your ability to set your children up for future success
- Strategies for distance learning and returning to the classroom
- Check in on your mental health - depression, anxiety, anger, and guilt due to the stresses of covid-19 and learn about valuable community resources
Although the Hotline for Hope is not intended to be a crisis hotline, the idea is to reach out to parents and caregivers that are looking for new ways to approach stressful situations. Since Governor Newsom’s Shelter-In-Place order went into effect in late March there has been a significant drop in child abuse reports to HHSA – Children’s Branch. “We have received, on average, 200 fewer calls for child abuse reports in April, May and June and July were significantly lower also. We are very excited that parents that are looking for a new approach can reach out to a Parent Partner to talk through their unique n,” said Shasta County Health and Human Service Agency – Children’s Branch Director, Nancy Bolen.
Pathways to Hope for Children offers many services for children and families including the Anderson Teen Center, multiple Parent Partner programs, Camp HOPE America – Pathways and much more. “Our goal is that the Hotline for Hope will offer families pathways to support and resources during a difficult time. Parents who call will have the opportunity to be referred into our Parent Partner program which offers dedicated case managers to families with children ages 0-17 in an effort to help build parenting skills, connect people to resources and serve children,” said PHC’s Executive Director Michael Burke. As mentioned, the Hotline for Hope is not a crisis line so if anyone suspects child abuse, they are encouraged to call Shasta County’s Health and Human Services – Children’s Branch at 530-225-5144.