How is SHINE for Kids responding to the current Coronavirus outbreak?
SHINE for Kids is a people centred organisation and we take seriously the wellbeing of the families we work beside, along with that of our employees, volunteers and key stakeholders.
Sadly, we do not expect the Coronavirus to go away anytime soon. As such, our team is doing everything we can to develop plans to keep children of prisoners and employees protected and healthy.
We believe now is a time for communities to act and support each other. We seek your support in achieving this and would ask if you or an immediate family member have recently returned from overseas or you are displaying any COVID-19 symptoms, that you avoid contact with our organisation or any of our representatives.
As CEO, I have asked my team and our volunteers to limit face to face contact where possible. We would encourage all to use digital platforms to enable meetings to take place as an effective alternative. We are in communication with Corrective Services in each state on a regular basis and if visits are cancelled we are looking at alternative arrangements, which include possible video visits and more frequent phone calls.
We have suspended community activities, including community excursions, camps and training activities effective immediately.
We will closely monitor each situation in consultation with our partners in each state to ensure the safety of our team, the young people and their families. COVID-19 will adversely impact children of prisoners visiting their parents. During this time of unprecedented uncertainty, we will continue to directly support children of prisoners and their families through our programs.
This will include SHINE for Kids staff and volunteers providing support to the children, young people and families who usually engage with activities in our suspended programs via phone, video calls and other means assessed on a case-by-case basis.
SHINE for Kids is working collaboratively with Corrective Services in NSW to find alternative ways for children to stay connected with their parents. We continue to advocate for open communication between complexes and families on the outside.
I would like to thank you for the way in which you are supporting SHINE for Kids through the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation is changing daily and SHINE for Kids employees will aim to keep you informed. We are remaining calm but being proactive ensuring that at all times, our priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, volunteers, children, young people and families.
Chief Executive Officer