Despite COVID-19, Video Visits Help Family Bond Through Salvation Army's Nurturing Center

May 28, 2020

When COVID-19 became the norm, The Salvation Army of Spokane’s ‘Nurturing Center’ for Children & Families had to readjust the way children and parents interact.

Previously, the role of the Nurturing Center was to provide a safe environment for families to maintain and/or build a healthy bond through (in-person) supervised visitations.  This includes children, ages 2-12, who have been removed from their homes by CPS or law enforcement due to abuse, neglect or criminal activity and placed in Sally's House, a foster care placement program also operated by The Salvation Army of Spokane, as well as other local foster placement homes.     

Separation for these children is always difficult regardless of what they’ve experienced in the home.  For the parents – in many cases – it takes something as severe as losing their children for them to realize how serious the situation is.  Depending on the case, children aren’t always placed in a foster home.  Instead, visitations are arranged through the Nurturing Center.

When all in-person visits stopped due to the stay-at-home order, Candace Clocherty, program manager of the Nurturing Center, was forced to rethink how families could interact.  Thanks to technology, video visits were plan B.  Not the ideal situation, but at least the children and parents could still talk and see each other while continuing to work on their family inter-relationships.

Candace feels that all the video visits have been successful during this time, especially those involving the James Family - a single mother, Cathy, and her five-year-old daughter, Jordan.

“At the beginning of March, we had moved this family to in-home services (and) it was the state’s intent to have Jordan home by the end of March,” says Candace.   

However, when face-to-face visits stopped in mid-March, it shattered their reunification hopes and plans. In fact, it left both Cathy and Jordan in tears.  

As difficult as it has been, they have made the best of the situation.  Every day, Cathy and Jordan enjoy video visits where they have found ways to make their time special and positive. Their video visits are spent reading to each other, playing games and conversing on how they’re looking forward to hugging each other once the pandemic restrictions have eased.

Candace says this family has been a blessing for the staff, and they have seen how their bond has grown.

Even in the midst of COVID-19, there are positive stories, and this is one of them.

Thanks to the support of countless donors, the Nurturing Center remains open, which allows for additional success stories like Cathy and Jordan’s tale to become reality.

For more info, or to give a tax-deductible financial gift for the Nurturing Center, please click on ‘Donate To This Community’. 

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