by Gracie Barney, Community Relations Specialist
Throughout this pandemic, Catholic Charities has continued to provide case management, therapeutic, and support services through phone and video options. A small number of our programs have continued to operate uninterrupted including our Men’s Shelter, Emergency Food Pantry, and Refugee Services. We are grateful for our frontline workers who have provided critical support and service to our most vulnerable community members.
Donna Ross has been working for Catholic Charities for the past three years as a Parent Aide. The Parent Aide Program provides intensive home-visiting services for parents who are active with DSS and have children who are identified as at risk for foster care. The Parent Aide Program in-person visits have been on hiatus in wake of the pandemic, but Donna has still been able to meet her client’s needs by telecommunication.
“Being an essential worker almost feels second nature to me,” said Donna. “My mother was always a giving person. I grew up in that environment. I’ve been in the field 27 years and I’ve always wanted to make a difference,” she continued. During the pandemic, Donna has been able to check in with clients using telecommunication, but misses the hands-on experience of home visits.
“I have a very close relationship with all of my families; it kind of feels like I’m almost like a family member” said Donna. During the pandemic, Donna relies on her already formed great relationship with her families to continue to provide direct service. “We still talk and we have very open communication with mom and children” she began. “We still talk about parenting skills and the importance of staying safe.” Donna does her best to inform her clients about CDC recommendations to be socially distant, avoid crowds, and wear a mask.
While Donna misses being able to connect with her clients face-to-face, she is grateful to continue to serve her clients as a frontline worker with Catholic Charities. “Catholic Charities is employee friendly and family friendly. Our Executive Director has been in the trenches with us and knows the challenges we face” Donna said. Donna loves coming to work and serving her clients every day. “I feel great every day I get to wake up and come to work,” said Donna.
We are grateful for Donna and her continued work to meet the needs of our clients. Donna is one example of the hard working frontline workers we have on our staff. “I love working for Catholic Charities and Parent Aide is the best program an agency can have” said Donna.
We love what we do. We are Catholic Charities.
To learn more about The Parent Aide Program, please visit: https://www.ccoc.us/parent-education-programs