At the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton the health and safety of our children, youth, staff, resource providers and volunteers remains our top priority and we are taking a proactive approach to protect those we serve. We want to do our part to limit the spread of infection and to ensure that we are able to meet the needs of the community we serve.
First, we want to reassure you that we will continue to respond to reports of concerns about the risk to and maltreatment of children and youth. The Society is open and providing service.
We have a Pandemic Plan and Business Continuity Plan in place and we are actively monitoring the situation and responding as required. Effective March 18, 2020 the following practice guidelines were put in place.
Daily meetings are being held between our leadership, supervisors and staff teams and the agency is monitoring recommendations and taking direction from Hamilton Public Health
We are focusing on providing essential services and we appreciate your patience if you experience any delays. A large portion of our staff population will begin remote working practices and implement virtual meeting technology to ensure social distancing practices are followed.
We have cancelled the majority of our internal and external training, group gatherings and meetings until further notice.
Currently, all community groups and programs are suspended. This includes access visits. Face-to-face access visits and meetings are also canceled, but we are using alternatives such as Skype. Drop-in visits at Society offices have been temporarily suspended and we ask that the community call our offices to report information or schedule an appointment to meet with us.
All clients will be screened before staff meet with them. Client screening questions will be asked at the point of intake screening and by all workers who are conducting in-person meetings with clients or external visitors. Remember that if you are feeling unwell, specifically if you have a fever, cough or flu-like symptoms, you should not come into the agency.
We have recently received a screening tool from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and will be using this tool to help assess risk related to COVID-19 for all those involved with our organization.
Staff, volunteers and resources providers have been asked not to attend the office and to notify the Society if they, or any person who resides with them, have any symptoms of illness or if someone living in their household has been advised to self-isolate by a health professional.
The Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton is committed to continually monitoring and updating our plans so that we are responsive to the evolving environment.
Thank you for your continued understanding during this time. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will provide updates as necessary.
For more information on COVID-19, we encourage you to stay informed by regularly visiting the Hamilton Region Public Health website at www.hamilton.ca/public-health/covid-19/novel-coronavirus-covid-19.