COVID-19 Updates from Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region

Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region is closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

This page is dedicated to Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region’s response to COVID-19. Please watch this space for more updates as this situation evolves. 

The health and well-being of the people we serve, our families, staff and the wider community is our top priority. We want to assure you that we are taking measures to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19, guided by recommendations from the Region of Waterloo Public Health, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Click on the topics below to skip to these sections:

Changes to Service and Cancellations
Information for Families and Staff
Communication to Families and Staff
Resources and Activities from EAFWR

Changes to Service and Cancellations

We have extended our office closure to the public until May 31. The Kitchener-Waterloo Library of Things and WALES will also remain closed until May 31.

This decision aligns with the Region of Waterloo, City of Kitchener and surrounding municipalities and is for the health and well-being of the people we serve, our families, our staff, volunteers and the community.

The following programs remain cancelled until May 31:

  • Open Space in-person (held at Blackwing Coffee Bar, Queen Street Commons Cafe and Seven Shores Cafe). Open Space has moved online. To learn more about Virtual Open Space, please contact kim.sproul@eafwr.on.ca
  • All workshops and trainings, including our 2020 DSP Conference

Please note the following changes in service below:

  • As an organization, we are practicing physical distancing and our staff are working from home. Our staff continue to be be reachable by email during this time and are monitoring their voicemail regularly each day. We encourage you to please continue connecting with your Coordinators as per usual and we appreciate your patience as reaching them may take a little longer than usual
  • We will not be hosting any face-to-face meetings at our office with people from outside of our office. This includes the people we serve, our families, and community members
  • All family visits with Support Coordinators, including match visits and home visits, will be suspended for the time being
  • All volunteer positions with EAFWR have been temporarily suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the exception of our Board of Directors and Committee of the Board positions. Interviews will be conducted for these positions virtually via teleconference. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Michelle Scala at michelle.scala@eafwr.on.ca

Information for Families and Staff

Families

All staff have been asked to work from home at this time. Our staff will be reachable by email during this time, and they will be monitoring their voicemail regularly each day. We encourage you to please continue connecting with your Coordinators as per usual and we appreciate your patience as reaching them may take a little longer than usual.

We recognize that you and your Direct Support Person(s) may wish to continue to spend time together and ask that you:

Staff

Staff are working from home during this time. They continue to be be reachable by email and are monitoring their voicemail regularly each day.

Direct Support People

All staff have been asked to work from home at this time. Our staff will be reachable by email during this time, and they will be monitoring their voicemail regularly each day. We encourage you to please continue connecting with your Coordinators as per usual and we appreciate your patience as reaching them may take a little longer than usual.

We understand the impact that this situation has on our Direct Support People. For those who choose not to work, we have provided financial support. For those who choose to work and wish to continue meeting with their families, we ask that you explore ways to provide creative support and that you:

We will continue keeping you updated regularly via email.

Communication to Families and Staff

We are committed to providing the people we serve, our families and staff with updates as we receive new information and direction. See below for letters that have been sent to families and staff:

March 31, 2020 – Update #5 to Families

March 24, 2020 – Update #4 to Families 

March 18, 2020 – Update #3 to Families

March 17, 2020 – Resources and Activities from EAFWR to Families, Direct Support People and Friends of Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region

March 16, 2020 – Update to EAFWR Staff

March 16, 2020 – Update #2 to Families from Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region

March 15, 2020 – Update to Families, Direct Support People and Friends of Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region

Resources and Activities from EAFWR

As we navigate the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, we recognize not only the impact this has on how we work and support one another, but how we connect as we continue to practice physical distancing distancing.

As an organization, we understand and value the importance of mental health and well-being. Given how quickly this situation keeps unfolding, we know there may be some concern, anxiety, stress around understanding recent developments around COVID-19. We wanted to share some resources and activities that may be helpful to you. This space will be updated regularly.

Have a resource or idea you’d like to share? Please email communications@eafwr.on.ca 

 

COVID-19 Resources from Healthcare Organizations

Municipal Updates about COVID-19

Community Resources

Community Groups, Initiatives and Services

Phone Support

Mental Health Resources

Activities

We encourage you to continue connecting with one another, whether it is over the phone or online. Together, we can continue the valuable connections and relationships we have and be #BetterTogetherWR, at a distance.