Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

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Tips for Family Services Staff Working Remotely with Families

Tip 1. Remember to take care of yourself.

Take breaks to care for your body and mind. Eat healthy snacks and meals and drink plenty of water. Participate in activities that soothe you. These might be deep breathing, exercise, meditation, drawing, or other activities.
Set up a workspace that is comfortable and helps you to be productive. Talk with your supervisor about what you may need to work effectively from home, such as a computer, office supplies, or training on how to work with families virtually.
Set a regular work schedule and, as possible, set and stick to a routine. Routines help create a sense of normalcy during uncertain times. Include time to address personal tasks to maintain balance between work and personal life.
Stay in contact with your supervisors, mentors, and other program staff for a sense of team and support. Maintain connections by participating in team meetings and other group conversations.
Tip 2. Continue building relationships with families.
Use strengths-based attitudes and relationship-based practices in your virtual work to strengthen your relationships with families. Building relationships is the first goal of any connection with families.
Think about what you know already about the families with whom you work. Focus on their strengths. Emphasize their resilience. Remind them of times they have overcome challenges in the past.
Let parents know you are thinking about their family. Find out how they are feeling and doing. What do they think is going well for them and their child? What is not going so well?
Ask about new routines or strategies families are using to manage their stress. Ask who they can reach out to for support. Keep in mind that social (physical) distancing does not mean social isolation.
Talk with families about how their cultural perspectives and values may affect how they are coping. What is important to families (e.g., strong family ties)?
Reflect on your work and conversations with families. Write in a journal or record notes on your phone. Meet virtually with your supervisor for reflective supervision meetings.