Everyone needs support from time to time. Many people experience increased stress during times of uncertainty, such as during an emergency or when making a big transition. Young people are no exception, and those who have experience with the foster care system may face unique obstacles and challenges. It is critically important that during these times—when a young person may be isolated or separated from their support systems—that they still have adequate access to mental health and other well-being services. The following resources are for professionals and those supporting young people during times of uncertainty.
How can I support young people that I work with or who are in my care during times of uncertainty?
- Be available and check-in with young people regularly.
- Ask how young people prefer to communicate—phone or video calls, text messages, etc.
- Let the young person know if you will be unreachable for a period and identify someone else they can turn to.
- Make sure each young person knows what to do and who to contact in case of an emergency.
- Ensure each young person can adequately maintain their privacy when talking about personal or sensitive topics, especially when doing so virtually.
- Help a young person identify a private, quiet space where they can talk openly.
- Make sure they have the necessary equipment – headphones, video conferencing software, etc.
- Be available to test equipment ahead of time.
The Agony of Social Distancing for Adolescents
Grown & Flown
Discusses the importance of friendship and socialization for adolescents and teens, especially in times of crises, and ways young people can safely maintain relationships with their peers while physically distancing.
COVID-19 Parental Resources Kit
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020)
Provides information and resources to help support the social, emotional, and mental well-being of youth and young people by age group, including adolescents and young adults.
COVID-19 Resources for Parents, Families & Youth
National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
Offers resources and information for parents and caregivers on parenting during a pandemic, self-care and coping with stress and anxiety, and supporting youth and young adults.
Family Members and Caregivers
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Provides information and resources for caregivers supporting a child, friend, or family member with mental illness, ranging from crisis preventions to learning how to take care of yourself.
For Parents and Caregivers
Offers parents and caregivers information and resources to support young people who may be struggling with their mental health, including what the warning signs are, what you should do if you have concerns about your child, how to talk with young people about mental health, and more.
|Series Title||Bulletins for Professionals|
Child Welfare Information Gateway, Child Welfare Capacity Building Center for States
Download (PDF - 370KB)
Supporting Teenagers and Young Adults During the Coronavirus Crisis
Child Mind Institute
Offers practical advice for caregivers of teenagers and young adults during the pandemic, from helping young people practice mindfulness to validating their disappointments.