NH DHHS Announces Resource Guide And Warm Line To Support Families During COVID-19
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) has developed two new resources to help children, youth, families and caregivers during the COVID-19 emergency.
The first is "Supporting Child and Family Wellbeing During the COVID-19 Emergency," a new resource guide with practical tips on how we can all support children and families during COVID-19. The guide also provides a list of resources available to families statewide. The second resource is the Family Support Warm Line, a partnership between DHHS and Waypoint. The Family Support Warm Line is a no-cost, confidential phone support line focused on promoting family resiliency. Residents can call 800-640-6486 and speak with family support professionals and parent partners for help with managing family challenges, coping strategies, or emotional support during COVID-19.
"Our data has shown a decline in the number of calls made to DCYF from those community helpers who regularly see kids face to face, but this is continues to be a stressful time for families and our focus has to remain on prevention," said DCYF Director Joseph Ribsam. "Having resources readily available and a place where parents and caregivers can turn if they need to talk to someone can make a difference for our families and guide them to the services they need to stay strong and healthy, before they reach a tipping point that leads to abuse or neglect."
The efforts stem from Emergency Order #22 adobe acrobat reader symbol, issued by Governor Chris Sununu on April 1, which authorizes emergency funding for critical child protection services to ensure that New Hampshire families continue to receive the right services at the right time during the COVID-19 emergency. In addition to the Family Support Warm Line, the funding will support domestic violence and substance use supports, expansion of the DCYF Strength to Succeed Program, and additional technology support for DCYF-involved families.
March data from the Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) shows a decrease in referrals to DCYF's Central Intake, compared to the same time period over the past two years. New child abuse and neglect referrals are down nearly 50% each week overall.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. To learn more about NH's Child Abuse Prevention Month activities, visit the New Hampshire Children's Trust website. To learn more about recognizing the signs of child abuse and neglect, visit Know and Tell, an education program offered through the Granite State Children's Alliance, the Chapter Organization for the network of New Hampshire's Child Advocacy Centers.
The Family Support Warm Line can be reached toll-free at 1-800-640-6486, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you suspect child abuse or neglect, call the DCYF Central Intake line at (603) 271-6562 or toll-free (in state) at (800) 894-5533.