Daily routines for children and adults have drastically changed over the last few months due COVID-19. Health precautions and social distancing measures meant that students had to complete their school year remotely – away from their friends and teachers. Not only did they miss out on the social interaction that is important for them, they had to quickly become accustomed to new technologies and tools. With a new school year approaching and remote learning a big part of the education process, parents, children, and teachers will face a whole new set of challenges.
Some of these challenges include:
- Lack of access to technology and resources
- Language barriers at home
- Parents taking on a new role of “teacher”
- Lack of free and reduced-price meals provided by the school
- Difficulty implementing Individual Education Plans (IEP) for children with special needs
- Time management struggles
- Lack of social interaction and communication
- Not all students are applying themselves
- Teachers who are also parents are struggling to balance those roles
Schooling is a large part of a child’s everyday life; being around others their age is crucial to their growth. With the uncertainty that lies ahead, as well as the difficult decisions that will have to be made regarding jobs and students’ schooling, many children and adults will struggle with anxiety, depression, and other mental health illnesses. Family Houston’s Counseling program can be essential for children and parents. Many of our counselors hold specialty certifications in Play Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Trauma Focused Therapy along with several other therapeutic methods.
Besides the mental health struggles that many are faced with, there are countless students who have trouble meeting their basic needs. 75% of HISD students are classified as economically disadvantaged. HISD schools provide multiple free meals a day to thousands of students. Those might be the only meals these children have access to. For families who struggle with providing enough food for their families, Family Houston can help clients apply for SNAP benefits and/or the Houston Food Bank Food Scholarship Program through our Case Management program.
Currently, all of our services are offered remotely. While we all navigate the challenges this year continues to bring, we are here to safely help those who are struggling with their basic needs, mental health, and financial stability.