Supporting Partners and Staff: Our Response to COVID-19

Posted March 20, 2020, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

The Casey Foundation responds to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

In just a mat­ter of days, our world has changed dramatically.

In many com­mu­ni­ties, busi­ness­es and hous­es of wor­ship are shut­tered, schools are closed and streets are emp­ty. We’re all feel­ing tremen­dous uncer­tain­ty and ten­sion as our nation and the entire world try to nav­i­gate this unprece­dent­ed moment.

And as our coun­try con­tends with the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic, the chil­dren, fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties at the heart of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s mis­sion are fac­ing greater chal­lenges than ever before — some imme­di­ate, and oth­ers as yet unknown.

All of this has impli­ca­tions for our work, as well as that of our extra­or­di­nary part­ners. Many must right­ly turn their atten­tion from our shared efforts to address the most basic needs and con­cerns, not only for the peo­ple they serve but also for their own staff, chil­dren and families.

In light of these shifts, the Foun­da­tion is also mak­ing changes in how it oper­ates and works with grantees and oth­er partners.

To do our part in mit­i­gat­ing the spread of the virus and poten­tial strain on our health sys­tems, the Foun­da­tion has offi­cial­ly closed all of its build­ings and restrict­ed busi­ness trav­el. All staff are work­ing remote­ly. When pos­si­ble, we’ve gone vir­tu­al for meet­ings and events — or post­poned or can­celed them entirely.

We remain com­mit­ted to being avail­able to our grantees and oth­er part­ners and will con­tin­ue our work as much as pos­si­ble. Yet we know some things may slow down or be put on hold as we all focus on more press­ing issues for the fore­see­able future.

As we work with our part­ners — includ­ing non­prof­its, pub­lic sys­tems and com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try — to deter­mine how best to sup­port them dur­ing this peri­od, our pri­or­i­ty will be giv­ing them flex­i­bil­i­ty to ensure the health and safe­ty of their staff, as well as the peo­ple they serve. We are grate­ful for their tire­less ded­i­ca­tion to keep­ing the needs of kids, fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties top of mind even as they’re deal­ing with their own chal­lenges. And what­ev­er may come, we aim to be sup­port­ive and under­stand­ing of them through­out this period.

Our mis­sion, and the ulti­mate goal of our efforts, is to improve the lives of the chil­dren, youth and fam­i­lies whose well-being is most at stake in this moment. There­fore, we are explor­ing ways to join with oth­er foun­da­tions to address this cri­sis and ensure pub­lic sys­tems and pol­i­cy­mak­ers pri­or­i­tize the needs of these young peo­ple and families.

The Foun­da­tion is con­stant­ly assess­ing and mon­i­tor­ing this ever-evolv­ing sit­u­a­tion. We will make the best deci­sions we can based on the infor­ma­tion avail­able and pro­vide updates accordingly.

This is unchart­ed ter­ri­to­ry for every­one, and none of us knows what lies ahead. But we hope that our con­tri­bu­tions and efforts to encour­age relief for the chil­dren, fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties most in need will make a mean­ing­ful difference.

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