During times of crisis, you see the heroes step from the shadows. That is no different within our organization except that Canopy heroes have come alongside families long before the Coronavirus pandemic existed, and will remain long after. Below are Mission Moments highlighting ways our Canopy heroes have continued to help children and families thrive during a strange and unusual time.

Autism Solutions:

Despite the pandemic, many of our autism families, leaning on the assistance and support of our Autism Solutions team and online parent training, have seen amazing progress in their child, including successful potty training and first spoken words. There was even a child who read his mom a full-length book during a telehealth session who just two years ago had no spoken words.

Therapeutic Foster Care:

Canopy placed 7 children in foster care, including one medically-fragile child, into the homes of loving Therapeutic Resource Families during the state’s shelter-in-place. This is a short-term record for the TFC program.

CARES:

The CARES Center was able to maintain and intake a full census of clients in our residential program. Staff quickly adopted new healthy and safety measures to ensure clients’ needs were met and were provided adequate care and safety throughout the shelter-in-place orders.

CARES School:

Teachers from the CARES School Hattiesburg found unique ways to engage their Day School students through distance learning including personalized videos. Many of our CARES School Jackson teachers continued to serve students from the CARES Center through in-person studies while also balancing the educational needs of Day School students learning from home.

LINK:

LINK is Canopy’s newest solution funded through a grant by the Mississippi Department of Human Services. The LINK team was approaching the program launch date when the pandemic hit Mississippi, allowing the team to jump into action across the state and serve families impacted by job loss, housing instability, food insecurity and more. In one particular instance, LINK worked with a family who had recently lost their home in a fire and was temporarily living with nearby relatives. LINK was able to find appropriate housing for the family who moved in the first of May.

WCCS:

A child was found abandoned and was taken into WCCS through its runaway and homeless youth services. The staff worked with child services and was able to successfully place the child with a foster family.

SMCAC:

During Child Abuse Prevention Month, staff at SMCAC rolled out a series of videos to help parents adapt to the stress and struggles of the pandemic. This series was viewed more than 4,300 times over a one-month period.

Despite children being out of school, SMCAC’s Harrison County office saw a higher-than-normal caseload of children needing forensic interviews. SMCAC responded to several severe abuse cases referred by local law enforcement and are continuing to find resources to support those families.

MYPAC:

MYPAC was referred a child who had struggled to maintain a stable foster placement. Before the team was able to begin working with the child and new foster family, a request was made for the child to be transferred to a new placement due to severe aggressive behaviors. The MYPAC team came in and provided support to the child and foster family and was ultimately able to maintain the child’s placement in the home.

In-CIRCLE:

The in-CIRCLE team had a father who was reunified with his children for a 90-day home trial through CPS. He was furloughed for several weeks during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders. The in-CIRCLE team rallied around him to ensure the safety and stability of the family during his furlough and he was able to successfully continue his home trial. They also helped him build up his support system of co-workers, friends and family while  building stronger relationships with his children.

Outpatient Clinics:

Kicking off Children’s Mental Health Week, three of our outpatient therapists (Caleb Cauthen, Monique Johnson and Monica Roberts) worked with Enrich MS to highlight the mental and emotional struggles that some of their clients have been facing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the shelter-in-place, the clinics in Gulfport, Hattiesburg and Jackson were each able to continue working with children via telehealth.