Businesses are shut down, schools are closed, and many professionals have shifted to working from home. For some families, this shift has resulted in tightened bonds, more quality time, and family walks with the dog. But, it’s a different story for our girls and their families, which is why we cannot afford to drop our services.
Our girls are already entrenched in high-risk situations, and now these risk factors are heightened. They are facing detrimental circumstances, and as a result, we’ve seen a spike in unsafe behaviors, use of illegal substances as self-medication, violence, breakdowns and increased proximity to gang affiliation. More than ever before, the families of our girls are exhibiting an increased need for counseling, support, and resources. Their caretakers are often foster parents, guardians who aren’t biological parents, or grandparents overwhelmed with circumstances this pandemic has brought forth. Their households are:
- Food insecure
- Have limited or no access to healthcare
- Dependent on services and structures that are currently shut down
If we shut down, too, we risk losing our girls to self-destruction or dangerous situations and undoing hundreds of hours of therapy and progression they have received and experienced at CORRAL. For many of them, CORRAL is their only safe space.
Faced with the adaptive challenges brought on by COVID-19, we’ve had to restructure our operations by extending them to the families of our girls. But, we are taking every measure to minimize the risk to our girls, volunteers and staff, by transferring most of our services to a remote space with a few exceptions, such as our equine-assisted psychotherapy, in adherence to our Hygiene and Safety Protocol and CDC guidelines. Throughout this intense adaptation and constant change, one thing has remained steadfast: we are rooted in our commitment to the safety and support of our girls.
Here’s a glimpse of the academic and mental health support we are providing to our girls and their families during this quarantine:
- Virtual one-on-one tutoring sessions
- A daily activity and resource-rich kit to provide structure and guidance for families
- A virtual parent support group with daily calls
- An assigned mental health professional for each family with daily support
- An individualized mental health plan with tele-therapy for each of our girls and increased support provided by our licensed mental health professional
- Tele-therapy peer support sessions for our girls to maintain a sense of community
- An open schedule for girls to access individualized equine-assisted psychotherapy sessions and chores on the farm with extended services to families but in compliance with CDC guidelines and CORRAL’s Hygiene and Safety Protocol
At CORRAL, we teach our girls that resiliency is the courage to bounce back amidst adversity and setbacks. This is our opportunity to practice what we preach. We are not giving up on them. With the grace of God and the support of our collective community, we will navigate these challenges together and persevere in providing our much-needed services to our girls and their families.