COVID 19 – March, 22, 2020

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: COVID-19 SERVICE IMPACTS

Kina Gbezhgomi Child and Family Services (KGCFS) remains committed to the priority of the health and safety of our children, families, employees and stakeholders with heightened precautionary measures during this time. The public health risk is continually reassessed daily by the KGCFS Emergency Response Team through the Ontario Ministry of Health and the Sudbury and District Health Unit in tandem with implementation of the Pandemic Plan. KGCFS Emergency Response Team (ERT) is currently implementing several new precautionary measures as follows:

1) KGCFS offices will be closed to the public effective Monday March 23, 2020 until further notice with all service teams working remotely off site. This action is taken to enhance the emergency response of social distancing with the full provision to work from home.

2) KGCFS continues to respond to child protection matters with all calls being routed at this time to the emergency after hours answering service by calling 1-800-268-1899 (toll free) or 1-705-859-2100.

3) As of Monday March 23, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. a schedule of daytime KGCFS screeners will be available through business hours to accept the calls and will re-direct accordingly.

4) KGCFS employees will be reaching out to complete indirect contacts with youth and families served through available communications such as phone calls, emails and video technology such as Skype etc. As well, KGCFS will assess the required technological resources for enhanced remote communications.

5) Direct contact will be limited to urgent child protection matters in consultation with the member First Nation/s on a case by case basis and will involve health screening questions.

6) KGCFS is working in collaboration with each member First Nation in terms of the community pandemic plan and service protocols and will continue to implement collaborative service planning and communication, while using available technology for safety.

7) KGCFS has also implemented a business travel restriction for all KGCFS employees to allow travel only within the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin and continuing to monitor the health and well being of employees, caregivers and youth in care.

8) KGCFS has cancelled gatherings until further notice such as cultural events, training events, foster parent recruitment etc. to implement social distancing as a precaution.

To assist in preventing the spread of COVID-19, we ask that precautionary measures are taking seriously as directed by public health authorities to ensure the health and safety of our KGCFS community. For updates on COVID-19, we encourage you to visit the following sites:

• World Health Organization; (https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019)

• Ontario Ministry of Health; (https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov) • Public Health Sudbury and Districts; (https://www.phsd.ca/)

Kina Gbezhgomi Child and Family Services translates into “All of us, we are one.” KGCFS is committed to fostering strong families through its delivery by inclusion of First Nations cultural practices. KGCFS has three office locations (Wiikwemikoong, M’Chigeeng and Sudbury, ON) in order to service our seven member First Nations and other First Nations within the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin. Please visit us at www.kgcfs.org