Coronavirus News: NYC social workers stepping up to serve communities amid COVID-19 crisis

Sandra Bookman Image
Monday, April 27, 2020
NYC social workers stepping up during COVID-19 crisis
Social workers give Sandra Bookman an inside view of how they've stepped up to meet new challenges during the pandemic

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City social workers have stepped up to serve communities in need despite the lockdown surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

The CEO of Jewish Child Care Association (JCCA), Ron Richter, proudly touted the way his team has pivoted to working virtually in the midst of COVID-19.

He says it hasn't been easy, but necessary when you're charged with providing care and services to some of the city's most vulnerable.

"The neighborhoods that have been hit the hardest, communities of color, communities where there is economic challenge all the time," Richter says.

Veteran social worker Kevin Nelson says keeping track of his foster families virtually lacks that personal touch.

Although he admits that he and other colleagues have put on protective gear and made grocery runs for clients who can't leave their homes.

"I had to obtain groceries for the family because they have a lot of pre-existing conditions, as do most of my families," family therapist Michelle de la Guardia said.

Guardia works with clients at risk of losing their children and says that she is conducting about three times more virtual sessions each week than normal.

"In some ways I feel like I'm more connected with my families and I'm more in tune to what they're needing," Guardia said.

Nelson says that the mission statement is to repair the world, child by child.


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